Apple launches independent audit of its China suppliers

“Apple has hired an outside specialist firm to help audit the environmental practices of its suppliers in China following a series of critical reports by activists.,” Kathrin Hille and Joseph Menn report for The FInancial Times.

“The maker of iPhones and iPads met a coalition of environmental groups in China on Tuesday and told them the firm was engaged in audits of suppliers with which they had found fault,” Hille and Menn report. “The audits of 11 suppliers so far followed a meeting in August as the coalition prepared to release a sharply critical report.”

Hille and Menn report, “The unprecedented dialogue comes as Apple tries to find a new balance between the secrecy with which it guards its processes and the potential public relations fallout from being targeted by activists on the environment, labour policy or other areas.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Is it me or does it seem like Apple is the only company that gets the public relations fallout from these things. The suppliers Apple uses are used by many other high profile companies and yet it’s ALWAYS Apple’s problem to deal with.

    1. It can sure seem like that.

      I know that at least Foxconn supplies HP, Dell and builds the Xbox 360 for Microsoft.

      You never really hear about those companies and their “china suppliers” in the news or by activists.

    2. There is some truth to that. Nike has been a target in the apparel industry over working conditions and other issues surrounding its goods. There is a kind of flattery there: By definition the industry leaders are the targets. Fair enough — Apple sets the standard by which competing products are measured, and so should the environmental and labor practices of its suppliers.

  2. Quick solution: Build a stinkin’ factory in the states! Your profit margins are high enough, you can track parts and just in time supply much faster, transportation is cheaper, and most importantly, you can reap the rewards of pubicizing you’re actually creating jobs, MOVING jobs from China to the US. Why won’t Apple do this? Even a token factory making…. their crappy mouse, or just the high end MacPros?

    1. I’m with you. Apple could sacrifice a piece of its fabulous margin for that. My new Bosch dishwasher was built in the US. Honda Accords have been built here for years. Maybe it would be a token effort, but symbolically important — and every little bit helps.

      1. The US government is so freaking broke, they’d find a way to tax them back out of the country again. Until the policies of this country become business friendly, I don’t see Apple bringing their factories back to our soil…

        1. Relatively high labor, taxes, legal and other overhead costs will keep manufacturing out of the USA probably for several generations. The US just ratpacks plants to death, though I’m sure with good intentions. So it’ll take revolutionary changes to bring manufacturing back anytime soon.

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