Where Apple products are born: A rare glimpse inside Foxconn’s factory gates

Foxconn “agreed to give Re/code a tour of a sprawling manufacturing facility in Shenzhen in the south China province of Guangdong were it makes iPads and Macs.,” Dawn Chmielewski reports for Re/code.

“To be clear, we were not allowed unfettered access. A special assistant to CEO Terry Gou traveled from Shanghai to escort us on a tour that appeared to paint a picture of workers being treated well,” Chmielewski reports. “We weren’t permitted to observe the factory floor — an unidentified customer wouldn’t allow that.”

Chmielewski reports, “Apple isn’t Foxconn’s only customer…”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: The sheer size of the facilities and vast number of workers boggles the mind.

12 Comments

      1. Your analogy only works if you take into account the relatively long span of time that the pieces took to go through puberty and mature into ripe seeds before being brought together to create the baby born in Foxconn’s womb.

    1. If you have any children, you might want to get a DNA check done on them if you are unclear about the difference between being born and being conceived.

    2. You guys may want to argue semantics, but I contend that the products Foxconn manufactures are conceived and born in Cupertino. They are duplicated in high volume at Foxconn. It’s really a dumb headline either way you want to cut it.

  1. Last two paragraphs reveal how far China has to go to achieve reasonable labor conditions:

    “Under the glare of international media attention and customer scrutiny, Foxconn has raised its base wage from a reported $153 a month to a starting salary of $306 for a 40-hour week — with pay increasing to $402 after a three-month probationary period. It also restricted overtime hours to no more than 60 per month.”

    So yes, progress is being made. In China, a person now worth $7.65 per hour. But wait …

    “Meanwhile, another Apple supplier, Pegatron outside of Shanghai, has attracted the attention of the international press. A BBC hidden-camera investigation showed workers falling asleep during 12-hour shifts assembling iPhone 6s [plural of 6]. Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams issued a response, calling the report “deeply offensive” and articulating the way the company is working to improve working conditions.”

    So Williams, speaking for Apple, is offended that kids are being forced to work 12 hours shifts, regardless of their ability to do so safely and efficiently? Or he’s offended that Apple/Pegatron got caught?

    Anybody know what the overtime rate of pay in China is? If they are not paid overtime, then $306 for 12 hour shifts 6 days per week comes out to about $4.25 per hour.

    That’s inhumane, even in China.

    1. You seem to be concerned about the wages in China at Foxconn’s factories but you haven’t taken into account that they get accommodation, food and entertainment. Compare that to minimum wage in the US with no accommodations, no food and no entertainment. Then, think about the cost of living in China compared to that in the US and then make you uniformed comments.

      1. Exactly. Paul didn’t consider fringe benefits, and he didn’t consider purchasing power (cost of living), both which change the equivalent compensation significantly compared to their western counterparts.

        Then, he completely ignored the information in the article that specified compensation rates were for a 40-hour week so he could create an artificially-low number upon which to build his argument.

        Read more, rant less.

    1. tronny, you have been doing much better until now. You might be able to win friends and influence people if you use a higher level of language. If you compare your digs under the bridge to almost anything, you might have better things to say about their accommodations.

    2. @ trondude — i’ll have to do a Reality Check to see if such rubbish accommodations count as a benefit or a punishment. I guarantee you nobody working for Apple in the USA would submit themselves to the 1900’s-style dormitory housing that the Chinese workers submit themselves to. But it’s all good with ecrabb & RC. Maybe they should do a Pegatron tour for fun.

  2. To emphasize:

    Woo notes, by way of context, that 12 suicides per one million employees is lower than the U.S. suicide rate of 13 per 100,000 — a statistic Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs once cited in defense of the factory.

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