Apple to share Chinese factory improvement costs with iPad, iPhone assembler Foxconn

“Apple Inc and its key supplier Foxconn Technology Group will share the initial costs of improving labor conditions at the Chinese factories that assemble iPhones and iPads, Foxconn’s top executive said on Thursday,” John Ruwitch reports for Reuters.

“Foxconn chief Terry Gou did not give a figure for the costs, but the group has been spending heavily to fight a perception its vast plants in China are sweatshops with poor conditions for its million-strong labor force. It regards the criticism as unfair,” Ruwitch reports. “‘We’ve discovered that this (improving factory conditions) is not a cost. It is a competitive strength,’ Gou told reporters on Thursday after the ground-breaking ceremony for a new China headquarters in Shanghai. ‘I believe Apple sees this as a competitive strength along with us, and so we will split the initial costs.'”

Ruwitch reports, “It was unclear if the split would be 50/50 or in some other ratio. Foxconn announced in mid-February it had raised wages for workers by 16 to 25 percent, and in late March it reached an agreement with Apple to hire tens of thousands of new workers to reduce overtime work… Apple and Foxconn agreed earlier this year to improve conditions for workers assembling Apple products.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Jax44” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Foxconn workers talk about jobs, working conditions assembling iPhones and iPads – May 5, 2012
Marketplace goes inside Foxconn, posts exclusive look at how an iPad is made (with video) – April 12, 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
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
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


  1. Obviously the working conditions are the main concern, and it’s great that Apple wants to improve them, but as a side note, could it not be in Apple’s favour to do so because it will increase costs to an extent that they can afford, but that maybe other companies can’t, thus reducing their slim margins even further?

    1. That assumes that other companies will match what Apple and Foxconn are doing, but I highly doubt it. Other companies will wait until the spotlight is on them, and not one second earlier. What this will do is make an even greater opportunity for ZTE and Huawei, Chinese-owned companies to take more and more of the low-end of the smartphone market, as protests will focus upon multinationals.

      1. Exactly! Where’s the attention on Nokia’s use of Foxconn? And exactly where are the new Samsung Galaxy III phones being made? Tianjin, China, I suspect. Apple’s commendable actions should eventually put pressure on other mobile device production, but not on Huawei and ZTE. If activists really cared about the plight of Chinese workers they would focus on conditions in domestic production..

  2. Helps world wide PR for Apple. You don’t see MS in the news on their helping workers, only news on the workers threatening to jump off roofs.
    Apple is very good at PR balance. They make you feel good that you are spending a lot more money on a product than you ever thought you would.

  3. Good for Apple!

    Of course, we don’t see Microsoft doing the same thing. So look forward to more abused XBox assemblers threatening to jump off their building, and the press reporting it as “suicides threatened at Apple assembler”.


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