Marketplace Shanghai Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz is only the second reporter ever to gain access to visit the factory floor at Apple’s Chinese assembler Foxconn.
The first misconception I had about Foxconn’s Longhua facility in the city of Shenzhen was that I’ve always called it a ‘factory’ — technically, it is. But after you enter the gates and walk around, you quickly realize that it’s also a city — 240,000 people work here. Nearly 50,000 of them live on campus in shared dorm rooms.
There’s a main drag lined on both sides with fast-food restaurants, banks, cafes, grocery stores, a wedding photo shop, and an automated library. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, a gym, two enormous swimming pools, and a bright green astroturf soccer stadium smack-dab in the middle of campus. There’s a radio station — Voice of Foxconn — and a television news station. Longhua even has its own fire department, located right on main street.
This is not what comes to mind when you think “Chinese factory.”
See highlights from his tour of the assembly line and the Foxconn facilities in the video below. Hear his full audio reports on your local public radio station or online at http://www.marketplace.org.
Liar Mike Daisey dumped as Cornish College commencement speaker, will not receive honorary degree – April 9, 2012
Apple supplier Foxconn cuts working hours; workers worry, question why – March 30, 2012
Fair Labor Association releases Foxconn report; looks to correct overtime, safety issues – March 29, 2012
Change.org petition calls for Change.org to retract petition against Apple; says based on Mike Daisey’s lies – March 21, 2012
Foxconn won’t take legal action against ‘This American Life’ after retraction of Mike Daisey lies – March 19, 2012
Foxconn glad Mike Daisey’s lies exposed; says media hasn’t gone far enough in reporting truth – March 19, 2012
Apple and the Daisey affair: Why did the company keep its silence, when it knew a year ago what we know now? – March 18, 2012
Apple firestorm leads Mike Daisey to change his ‘agony and ecstasy of Steve Jobs’ show – March 17, 2012
‘This American Life’ retracts story, says it can’t vouch for the truth of Mike Daisey’s monologue about Apple in China – March 16, 2012
Foxconn: The fire that wasn’t – March 15, 2012
Apple supplier Foxconn again lifts pay for China workers; 16-25 percent increase – February 17, 2012
FLA President: Foxconn factories ‘first-class; way, way above average’ – February 15, 2012
‘Slacktivism’ groups claim credit for Apple supplier audits over a month after Apple originally announced its plans – February 14, 2012
Thousands line up for iPhone assembly jobs at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou, China plant – January 30, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook calls New York Times supplier report ‘patently false and offensive’ – January 27, 2012
Apple audit led by COO Tim Cook prompted improvements at Foxconn – February 14, 2011
Media blows it: Foxconn employees face significantly lower suicide risk – May 28, 2010