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How China affects YOU (and your iPod!)

Updated on June 17, 2010

Chinese workers at FOXCONN

Above: As many as 6 employees have committed suicide at FOXCONN, one of the Chinese firms that produce Apple products, such as the iPhone and iPad.
Above: As many as 6 employees have committed suicide at FOXCONN, one of the Chinese firms that produce Apple products, such as the iPhone and iPad.

I can't deny it, I am an Apple 'fan-boy.'

I can't deny it, I am an Apple 'fan-boy.'
Apple's silver logo has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. I had one of the very first iPods, then I got an iPod mini, and an iPod video. Then there was the iPod touch, the iMac, my iPhone and I am not waiting for my iPad to arrive. Most likely, I will probably buy an iPhone 4 as soon as my current phone plan has expired, and no doubt I will continue to buy Apple products as long as they keep making high quality, consumer friendly electronics.

However, some disturbing news has been coming out of FOXCONN factories, ShenZhen, China, the firm that produces many Apple products. Numerous suicides have been reported by FOXCONN employees, most notably the death of Sun DanYong.

[ Click here to read another interesting article about China!]

Sun DanYong was responsible for shipping 16 prototype iPhones from the factory to various places around the globe. Unfortunately, one of the 16 prototypes went missing and as soon as he discovered one of the prototypes was in fact missing, he did what he thought was the right thing to do and reported the mishap to his superiors. This resulted in his house being searched - and ransacked in the process - as well as himself and his family being 'interrogates' by company officials.

This enormous stress resulted in Sun DanYong unfortunately taking his life on July the 16th, 2009.

Reporters in China then caught wind of the abuse that DanYong and his family suffered, as well as the highly illegal search that the company made at his house without a warrant, and subsequently reported the story in the Chinese media. FOXCONN executives did not like the negative publicity, and sued the journalists for more than 3 million yuan.

The only thing that forced the FOXCONN executives to pull back from their law suit, and reduce the amount to a 'symbolic' 1 yuan was a personal message from Steve Jobs requesting the law suit be dropped.

As a further slap-in-the-face to factory executives, who make their living by practicly enslaving workers, and forcing them to perform 80 hours of unpaid over-time work each month, was Steve Jobs announcing that workers from the ShenZhen factory would receive 0.7% of the profts made from the iPad. This amounts to proximately 22% pay increase for the workers.

This is surely a sign that the Western world is finally taking responsibility for the cruel, inhumane practices that take place in Chinese factories.
By Harry Harding.

[ Click here read another interesting article about China!]


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      TheGlacier 7 years ago from USA/INDIA

      it is very interesting and informative hub. I knew that China is giant in manufacturing. But I didn't know these kind of underlying facts.

    • HarryHarding profile image

      HarryHarding 7 years ago

      I don't really know the intricate details on the economy of China, I am mainly interested in the human rights side of things. As it stands, most of the money is going to a select few, but is that better than no money at all? it's a tough question to answer... :S

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      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Interesting article Harry! Looks like this struggle will continue for some time. One way to overcome low wages in China a little bit is to change its foreign exchange ratio. Which has been kept artificially low by manipulating. If China adopts to bringing it at a reasonable level carefully it may not affect it as badly as it fears. You are the expert. What do you feel?