Inside Foxconn, manufacturer of Apple’s iPhone, Sony PlayStations, and much more

Apple Online Store“On a crushingly hot mid-August day at Foxconn’s Longhua factory campus in Shenzhen—where a dutiful army of 300,000 employees eats, sleeps, and churns out iPhones, Sony PlayStations, and Dell computers—workers indulged in a rare moment of celebration,” Frederik Balfour and Tim Culpan report for Bloomberg Businessweek. “First, there was a parade, an Alice in Wonderland spectacle of floats, blaring vuvuzelas, and workers dressed up as Victorian ladies, geishas, cheerleaders, and Spider-Men. This was followed by a two-hour rally inside a vast sports stadium featuring acrobats, musical performances, fireworks, and life-affirming testimonials punctuated by chants of ‘treasure your life’ and ‘care for each other to build a wonderful future.'”

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“It was hardly a spontaneous outpouring. Rather, it was a joint production of employee unions and management at Hon Hai Precision Industry, the flagship of Foxconn Technology Group, as part of an effort to mend the collective psyche of a Chinese workforce that numbers more than 920,000 across more than 20 mainland factories,” Balfour and Culpan report. “The need to do so became apparent after 11 Foxconn employees committed suicide earlier this year, most of them by leaping from company-owned high-rise dormitories. The publicity-averse Taipei-based company and its 59-year-old founder and chairman, Terry Gou, were thrown into the spotlight, subjected to unfamiliar scrutiny by customers, labor activists, reporters, academics, and the Chinese government.”

Balfour and Culpan report, “The suicides introduced Foxconn to much of the world in the worst terms imaginable—as an industrial monster that treats its workers like machines, leveraging masses of cheap labor, mainly 18-to-25-year-olds from rural areas, to make products like the iPhone at seemingly impossible prices.”

Very extensive full article (more like a small book) -recommended – here.

9 Comments

  1. The suicide rate among American college students ranges from 5% in party schools to 10% in serious learning institutions like MIT.

    The ages of the workers are similar to college students. The Foxxcon suicide rate is 0.008%.

    Why aren’t we hearing about the ‘Carnage in the Colleges’?

    Apple is involved on every American college campus. I don’t understand why the FUDsters don’t run with this too.

  2. “The suicide rate among American college students ranges from 5% in party schools to 10% in serious learning institutions like MIT.”

    That’s the biggest bunch of bullsh&?t I’ve ever seen in a blog comment, you’re the reason why blog commenters have so little credibility. Let’s see, if MIT has 10,000 students, that would mean that 1000 commit suicide every year, right?

    The FUDsters don’t run with it because they recognize you’re looking at yourself in the mirror…

  3. And party schools can be serious learning institutions also. And usually are first and foremost. UW for instance. Leads the way in biotech as well as other areas of study and research.

    Yeah his numbers are also BS. 5-10 of every 100 students committing suicide? Nightline and 60 minutes (not to mention CNN, Fox, MSNBC and Al Jazeera) would be on this little stat 24/7. Yeah, and 1 out of every 10 people is homosexual, there are 30 million homeless people in the US and the Bilderberg Group is the final puppet master for the NWO… Don’t believe everything you read.

  4. Great article. I love the last line of the article. Gou would like to bring manufacturing to the U.S. “But I worry America has too many lawyers. I don’t want to spend time having people sue me every day.”

  5. Again, it ends with an Apple product’s fault. Foxconn assembles iPhones, Sony PlayStations, and Dell computers. Where all 11 employees assembling Apple products? Knowone asked? Targeting Apple at the expense of these 11 people is sad and know one calls anyone out on it. Just use it to blame Apple and America.

  6. All of Apple products should be made in the US or at least North America. Communism is horrible form of government that exploits it’s people.
    I felt so strongly about that I sold all 12,552 shares of my Apple stock.

  7. “Communism is horrible form of government that exploits it’s people.”

    You have to remember that countries do not *choose* their governments, what form of government a country takes depends mostly on demographic factors like population size, growth, and density.

    The United States has always tended toward a fascistic form of government, with it being ruled by a relatively small capitalist oligarchy that props up and controls (mostly) Republican politicians from Washington. John Boehner is a good example of this phenomena. This political oligarchy can use its wealth to manipulate and control public opinion and the uneducated American electorate. What you have are the John Boehners of the world sitting back, smoking their cigars with trophy women on the laps, laughing all the way to the bank, watching how their vicious propaganda does its work on the ignorant American masses.

    If you read the Foxconn article you know that Henry Ford played the same role as Terry Gau in earlier American history, wishing to build a huge feudal industrial society under his tutelage (he wanted to take over the entire state of Michigan, and when this didn’t succeed he went to South America to found a banana republic).

    So you see that the form of government doesn’t really matter for these things to play out, what is important is that there’s a huge mass of uneducated people desperate for work to survive. Once you have this you can have the Fords, Carnegies, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Gaus ready and willing to strive to world domination.

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