Apple must find answers for China suppliers’ labor violations

Apple has strict rules and tough enforcement, yet suppliers like Taipei-based Pegatron are still committing labor violations, Tim Culpan writes for Bloomberg Opinion.

Quality assurance, iMac production, China (Image via Apple's Supplier Responsibility 2020 Progress Report)
Quality assurance, iMac production, China (Image via Apple’s Supplier Responsibility 2020 Progress Report)

Tim Culpan writes for Opinion:


Apple Inc.’s decision to suspend new business with a key supplier highlights just how hard it is for the world’s biggest tech company to find partners that are both reliable and do the right thing by their workers. The problem may be of its own making.

Pegatron Corp. won’t get any new contracts after the Taipei-based company was found to have committed labor violations related to its student workers’ program at factories in China…

Getting college or vocational students to work factory production lines is an accepted practice in China that foreign clients including Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. have signed onto for years. Apple at least asks its manufacturing partners to ensure that the work relates to their studies. Under the pressure to churn out product, though, such programs are vulnerable to abuse… Incidents like this show that for all its talent and money, the U.S. company doesn’t control its suppliers as much as it might wish.

MacDailyNews Take: The violations keep happening because China is a vastly different society, operating under an authoritarian one-party communist rule, and Apple can only do so much – which also happens to be much more than any other company is accomplishing in China to improve working conditions, increase pay, and prevent abuse.


  1. Hopefully the cost of Pegatron abusing the student training program will teach them a lesson. Since no existing production is affected, there is a risk that Pegatron may feel they have got away with it and Apple will award them new production soon enough.

  2. Companies and manufactures want their profits, customers want low prices, workers want a salary. It has been this way since Pharaoh said, “stack those blocks over there into a giant pyramid” and Apple’s policies aren’t going to change anything.

  3. Apple shifted manufacturing to China because of high US federal and state taxes. The solution is simple, relocate manufacturing to states with low taxes, states friendly to corporations. Apple would completely solve the poor labor issue and look like a patriotic winner in the public eye. Simultaneously keeping the tech stealing Chinese from pilfering Apple’s tech for their nationalized copy cat clones.

  4. MDN: “China is a vastly different society, operating under an authoritarian one-party communist rule……”

    America is also a one party state. Its just divided into two halves, which lead people to mistakenly believe they are different parties; both are owned by Corporate America.

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