Behind the Doors of Foxconn, Apple's Sweatshop Factories

In our own eyes...

Decided to look for ourselves, we joined a crew from ABC's Nightline after getting an invitation from Foxconn. They decided to give us a tour to one of Foxconn facilities in Shenzen, China, and we found a clean environment. Of course...Sure, they knew about our visit 3 weeks in advance. Complains of high rate suicides between employees, who could've reach to 800,000 only in China has put Foxconn on the hot spot big time.

Foxconn's CEO Guo Tai-ming, always denied that their factories were human sweatshops. Just imagine yourself, that for ABC news being there, all their employees got a dollar raise per day. So if they were making those well earned 6 dollars a day, their dollar raise will make them richer! Employees with a salary close to 220 a month will make close to 260 dollars a month(the price of an Ipad).

Foxconn's CEO Guo Tai-ming asserted that this was a big raise for his employees, but Sources told us that overtime would be cut, making up for that raise. Very Smart of 'you,' your Lawyers and accountants Mr. Guo Tai-ming.

Foxconn by the numbers

HEADQUARTERS: Taiwan, founded in 1974

CUSTOMERS: HP, Dell, Nokia, Motorola, Apple and more...

IPhones assembled per day: 145,000

Employees: 1,200,000 in China solely

% Of World consumption depending on them: 40%

CEO Terry Gou's estimated net worth as of 2011: 5.7 Billions

Rice consumed by a plant with 230,000 employees: 14 tons.

Number of employees packed at a 3 bedroom apartment: 20

Percentage of overtime worked: 84 hrs/month

No Wonder My Apple iPad Is Affordable..

Conditions of these Workers were not too plausible, just six months ago. Luring cheap migrants to work long hours in mammoth factories building smart-phones, computers and other electronics, was a commercial opportunity that nobody in his right mind would let go.

Since 2007, the U.S. fell into the biggest recession of his 240 years history, and the opportunity to keep productivity against the worker's conditions...well, guess what? Foxconn has been always hiring.

Workers being exploited on assembly mines for six or seven days a week, mostly for 14 or 15 hours a day, made our dream of having the latest IPhone reachable, but at what cost? We don't want to blame Steve Jobs, but there was a deal with Foxconn and we guess, we can imagine this Chinese from Formosa, and now Taiwan, made his promise to deliver within granted time. We just imagine this Chinese delivery guy, risking his life riding his bike, just to deliver a fresh meal to people that have Porsches and BMW's outside their offices.


Issues of Global Scale

Not only Apple has hired foxconn. We learned also that Hewlett Packard and Dell had been dealing with these companies for years. The problem is that China is becoming a 'superpower,' by buying our debt and entering the financial world with a 'strong wallet,' but where is the gap between the rich and poor over there?

A migrant from far away Provinces is barely making those 220-300 dollars a month. International Labor Unions have demanded better conditions for these people. Now we find that younger generations don't even find attractive these kind of jobs. They rather stay in their cities and work on and about nearby companies. You might've seen them modeling on some magazines. Just to buy their own IPads and trendy IPhone.

As far as we know, Foxconn has been losing over 45,000 employees per month, and the shortage is being felt. Foxconn won't ask anymore for a degree to join their factories. Their desperation for hiring has taken its toll already. Foxconn has hired counselors and Managers that could possible appeal to the new hires state of mind, for the sake of... business as usual. We are being said now that Apple will release its IPad 3 by March 7th. Which curiously coincide with that famous Chinese New Year.

Here is the ABC report.

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Comments 12 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Thanks for notifying about how widespread the company names are. I have had Hewlett Packards most of my computer time for hard drives and printers and see them among the list of offenders.

I've never had an iphone and now, I have an even greater reason to avoid them than simply not wanting a tiny screen or the fact that I want to to do more than simply stare at an iphone all day. Not sure how to avoid these completely, but at least I know what is going on.

Sometimes, packaging can add to the cost. But in general, you get what you pay for. So if the quality of the product seems too good for its price, it is either a no-name brand (quite common with grocery stores) or someone isn't paying proper wages.

ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I am saddened about the employee conditions and low wages that you describe. I am glad you are highlighting this issue.

Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Hi Flora,

This is a Worldwide problem, that affect us all. If Steve Jobs made 50 billion, then CEO Terry Gou got his 10% with all his rights.The problem still persist, because the revenue was tremendous for all of them. Paying this people 6 dollars a day? Ridiculous!!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Hello ChristyWrites,

I was very surprised as well. These people, the workers, are 21 century slaves, that live in overcrowded rooms in fetid buildings that resemble three story jailhouses.

Take care friend.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

I know this kind of thing is going on all over the world in lots of countries and it sickens me. Where is our humanity?

Good, informative hub!! Vote up

denkmuskel profile image

denkmuskel 4 years ago from Berlin

Interesting text. It is kind of ironic though that I get offerd Apple iProducts on Amazon right after I've finished reading.

And posting this the first add that comes up is about getting a job at an Apple Store in Germany. Machines are just machines.

Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Hi DenMuskel,

This topic touches everybody's pocket. I didn't want to be so graphic, but some of these human beings take their lives, knowing that the pressure and the living conditions are unbearable anymore. Thanks for stopping by my friend. Your feedback is very appreciated.


denkmuskel profile image

denkmuskel 4 years ago from Berlin

Thanks LORD,

It does touch me as well and yet I have to admit I am a user. I am impressed that you got a look at first hand and am watching the ABC-documentary right now. That definitely leaves another impact on you than just reading about it. You should link to that here maybe.

The "machines are just machines" quote is misunderstandable. I guess I was thinking of the matrix movie where they talk about how dependant we are on the machines and at the same time are making us miserable.

The good news at least is that Apple after being put under a lot of pressure is now taking some action. Let's hope they will keep improving these poor people's conditions as they do deliver quality work and no one deserves to life and work under these conditions.


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author


Pretty good! I added the report per your request. machines are machines. We have those feelings that make us cry or laugh. far, just follow commands and instructions pre-set by us. Your input was excellent and I appreciate and commend your support.


Eric Huang 4 years ago

Actually if Apple make 58% of the profit, Foxconn only make about 1%. And American complain about Chinese factory.

Who cause it.....

Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

We hear you Eric Huang,

They have been hiding these practices for so long in the name of profitability and economic growth for the big corporations. The problem has been spotted worldwide. We don't hear from Dell and Motorola because they are keeping a low profile diversifying their suppliers


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago Author

Thanks for commenting Treevas1! you have a wonderful day. Seems that is really humid in Indonesia.

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