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back to article Foxconn: We're not FORCING interns to make iPhone 5

The production line turning out iPhone 5s at Foxconn will be manned by willing interns only, said the Chinese company in a statement, rebutting stories last week that the new mobe was being pieced together by conscripted work experience kids. Newspaper China Daily had alleged last week that trainee primary school teachers and …

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Anonymous Coward

Are they give a hat, if i buy it?

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Anonymous Coward

Big opportunity for fandroids post, don't let me down now!

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Anonymous Coward

W O W the dimwitted are still banging about about OH SO LAST FCKING DECADE IdoitPhone?

Why? What is wrong with you people? Stop jumping on bandwaggons and develop your own personality.

Really? Who gives a shite?

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Anonymous Coward

Samsung gives a toss, who are they going to copy if Apple stopped making phones?

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Anonymous Coward

"W O W the dimwitted are still banging about about OH SO LAST FCKING DECADE IdoitPhone?"

I find it both amusing and appropriate that you are unable to spell "idiot".

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Headmaster

Re: "W O W the dimwitted are still banging about about OH SO LAST FCKING DECADE IdoitPhone?"

Can't spell Bandwagons either.

May I suggest a spell checker ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "W O W the dimwitted are still banging about about OH SO LAST FCKING DECADE IdoitPhone?"

Nor can he spell "fuck".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "W O W the dimwitted are still banging about about OH SO LAST FCKING DECADE IdoitPhone?"

"Nor can he spell "fuck"."

Sadly, it appears that this particular form of unskilled production work wasn't quite beyond his parents.

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Pint

Re: "W O W the dimwitted are still banging about about OH SO LAST FCKING DECADE IdoitPhone?"

quote:

I find it both amusing and appropriate that you are unable to spell "idiot".

Hmmm... I read it as the I-Do-It-Phone ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Of course it is not

The student slave labour programmes in the ex-soviet block put the enforcement _ALWAYS_ into the hands of the school or university.

You do not do your stint of "helping the farmer comrades, worker comrades, ... comrades" - you do not get your academic year signed off.

So if China is using the same tried and tested "fix the failing economy" system as was in use in the whole ex-Soviet block, than Foxconn is right - they are not forcing any one. They do not need to. It is the universities and schools which in turn are doing that under the directions of the communist apparatchicks in the local (or even a few levels up) party committe. And those in turn have some "free lunch" with guess whom. So Foxconn is at least a few steps away from the actual drafting and enforcement.

Nuff said really... The only thing to add is that these "fixes" in the labor supply were one the things that led to the downfall of the Soviet Union and its satellite states. So anyone investing into a country which needs these and into a supply chain that needs them should thing not twice, but thrice on what are the alternative supply chain options.

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Meh

Re: Of course it is not

"You do not have to work here. The exit can be found on the other side of the minefield."

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Re: Of course it is not

"You do not do your stint of "helping the farmer comrades, worker comrades, ... comrades" - you do not get your academic year signed off."

In some ways I don't consider that too bad an idea - we have people who go from nice public schools with grassy quads to nice Oxbridge colleges with grassy quads to nice London inns of law with grassy quads to parliament.

It would make perfect sense to me if these people who will otherwise only know luxury and privilege were obliged to spend some significant time getting to know how the other 98% live.

I doubt it would stop them being such berks but it would at least give people an opportunity to take the piss for a while before they were removed entirely from contact with the great unwashed.

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Re: Of course it is not

The obvious flaw with your reasoning is that you assume it won't be only the dirt poor peasants forced to work which is currently the case. Its an open secret that one of the largest problems with the Chinese government is how the second and third generation who have done very little are living fat on what their revolutionary grandfathers did for the country and party. People in China resent them even more than we do our rich and they have even more of a problem with it. Here or there or anywhere if you forced people to do things by law the rich find ways around it and the poor get screwed by it (see draft during Vietnam, etc).

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Pint

Re: Of course it is not @Lord Voldemortgage

Oh dear, oh dear. The chip on your shoulder is showing. Both of them.

Not everyone at parliament come from the "privileged" few, nor do the Inns of Law contain only people from the so-called "ruling classes". Similarly, not all Oxbridge graduates are from the same background. Some actually get there on their own academic merits, despite being from the general hoi-polloi.

Cheers for your view though.

(Raises glass)

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wonder how much cash the universities are getting from Foxconn

I'm guessing quite a bit.

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Got to love the language

Its nothing to do with China to be honest, just the way any self respecting company can lie about anyting without flinching.

In this case, you can imagine their spokesman saying to your face without a flicker in his eye "its their choice they can leave at any time", but he doesent (would never) add the caviet, though if they choose to, they also then choose to fail their course.

While not that same, you see the same snidy mealy mouthed devil tounge in action every time you hear any Politician talk from every country in the word.

Go listern to any debate on cimate change for some nice examples. (either side of the fence)

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Interns

If Song's claim is true then it's pretty poor from an ethical standpoint regardless of whether they are assembling iPhones, motherboards, or things for a NASA probe. It's the compulsion that's the issue.

It may be worth noting that, if they are volunteers, then interns at Foxconn would still seem to be paid about £153 per month more than interns in the UK. Remind me again which state is exploitative?

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Gimp

An Interesting Skill...

trainee primary school teachers ...were being made to assemble USB cables for the new iPhone in Foxconn as a compulsory part of their course at the Open University of Huai'an.

I can't see any possible scenario where a primary school teacher would need to assemble a USB cable in the course of their teaching career, but I'm open to suggestions.

A spiky gimp mask "fanboi" icon because...

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Facepalm

Re: An Interesting Skill... Teaching

Students, there are a range of jobs you can aim for. Some require more education than others. Let me tell you about one job I had. ".... and at the end of each 12 hour day the company-provided cots felt so good." Now, who would like to sign up for economics and statistics next semester, instead of being exploited by economics and statistics the rest of your life? Hands?

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Stop

Re: An Interesting Skill...

A spiky gimp mask "fanboi" icon because...

.. other phones don't need assembling or cables made?

I'm very amused at all the comments of people who use this as a platform to someone proclaim "their" make to be "better" - without a shred of evidence that manufacturing is somehow magically different for other phones.

I will defend the right of anyone to w*nk off over any make of phone they decide to choose (just don't complain about not getting warranty), but spare me the self-righteous twaddle that one make is somehow better than another because of some (usually imaginary) quality.

If those fanatics would put as much effort into severing the connection between their possessions and their ego they would see it does not make a blind bit of difference what phone they use. It's not a club membership anymore than that it changes you as a person (and if it does, you *really* need to seek help).. If you're an idiot, adding a phone will not change that. If you're a "cool dude" the type of phone you use should not matter.

As yet I have not seen a perfect phone, and I've only been using mobile phones since the analogue NEC P3..

This was a public service announcement. Thank you, and good night.

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FAIL

Re: An Interesting Skill...

... other phones don't need assembling or cables made?

I'm very amused at all the comments of people who use this as a platform to someone proclaim "their" make to be "better" - without a shred of evidence that manufacturing is somehow magically different for other phones.

Hmm, I'm not seeing any stories about HTC, Samsung or Nokia using sweatshop labour (sorry, internships) to make their consumer devices for them. If you have any such stories, please post up some links.

Perhaps Apple should be using its dominant position in the smartphone field to lead by example? You know, like keeping suppliers like Foxconn in line when it comes to using and abusing employees...

And yes, I find it just as disgusting that businesses in the UK are now finding it acceptable to use interns (sorry, free labour) to further their profits in a similar manner. At least the intern workers in China are getting paid.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An Interesting Skill...

Interns! Not just for blowjobs anymore!

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@ Ross K

"I'm not seeing any stories about HTC, Samsung or Nokia using sweatshop labour"

This very article contains the line "said the Samsung, Nokia and Apple kit maker" after a quote from Foxconn. I think it would be disingenuous to suggest that the workers on the Apple line get worse treatment than the workers on the Samsung or Nokia lines, at least without evidence to that effect. And we all know, from recent Samsung revelations, that they do not have clean hands.

By my standards, the workers at Foxconn have a bad time of it. But, I don't pretend to know whether, for those individuals, it's better than the alternative - I can't judge their lives in that way, not having lived them. Perhaps to them, their degree is worth doing the internship.

Many of us in the west have to work during their degree studies to be able to pay their way - I would not have received my degree if I hadn't - I would not have had the money to be able to pay for food and accommodation - so really, that was as enforced as these internships. I could have chosen not to work, and not got a degree too.... and then gone to work; after all, it's not like the alternative is to sit at home your whole life and do sod all and get paid for it.

Remember many countries also have a concept of national service to the Armed Forces, or alternative community service, and while it's not the same thing precisely, it's still something you have to do, and is socially acceptable in the country where it's practised, but would seem outrageous to the "youth of today" in the UK, I can imagine.

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FAIL

Re: @ Ross K

Wow, what a lot of nonsense you're spouting. Let me see... Where do I start?

1. Interns are not being forced to make Galaxy Tabs or Nokia Lumias. Production of the iPhone 5 is turned up to 11 as release is imminent. Foxconn are obviously unable to meet the target set by Apple without drafting in some unwilling workers. You haven't offered me or anybody else any proof that Samsung or Nokia production lines in other Foxconn factories are operating along similar lines.

It's not enough for you to say that you don't have any reason to believe it's NOT happening, but whatever.

2. But, I don't pretend to know whether, for those individuals, it's better than the alternative - I can't judge their lives in that way, not having lived them.

Maybe if they weren't being used as forced labour they could, I dunno, graduate and pursue a career in their chosen field of teaching.

3. Many of us in the west have to work during their degree studies to be able to pay their way

Yes, I'm one of those people. However I didn't work a 40 hour week (or more) for £153 while I was studying for my degree. The problem here isn't hard-up students working for an evil conglomerate to put food in their mouths. The problem is they are being prevented from graduating until such time as Foxconn have got their pound of flesh

4. Remember many countries also have a concept of national service to the Armed Forces

You condescending t**t. What has national service in support of your country got to do with lining the pockets of a private company. Or did I miss something? Is Foxconn owned by the Chinese government?

In summary: you sir, are full of crap.

None of your arguments make the slightest bit of sense, and are obviously the work of a rabid Apple apologist. Do us a favour and jump in front of the nearest bus.

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Silver badge

That bit at the end.

"In the statement this week, Foxconn has retorted that it is the schools which select the students and that the work can be beneficial for the youngsters as well as lead to full-time jobs in some of the country's most prestigious salt mines and peat marshes."

That bit at the end got lost in translation somehow. So I restored it.

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Anonymous Coward

if you buy an iphone 5 you have blood on your hands and quite frankly

poor taste

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quite...

a slave wrangler's bitch, and a nouveau riche one (who reads the Guardian) to boot, oh yeah!

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Stop

Re: if you buy an iphone 5 you have blood on your hands and quite frankly

For the sake of transparency, what religi^h^h^h^h^h^h brand did you sign up for, oh pontificating and sanctimonious one? Ah, AC. I'd imagine an HTC or Samesung wielding fandroid. What was that about child labour? Glass houses 'n all...

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Big Brother

Title correction

Original -- Foxconn: We're not FORCING interns to make iPhone 5

Updated -- Foxconn: WE'RE not forcing interns to make iPhone 5

Foxconn isn't applying the stick (at least, not in public); they're just benefiting from the "mandatory employment".

< whip crack >

Now back to work, you lazy college kids!

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Trollface

"The university told us it's a good way to experience corporate culture."

An excellent lesson in

Greed

Copying

Suppression

The slave trade

Tax avoidance

Irresponsibility

Shareholders being far more important than customers

Huge bonuses for incompetence

and arse licking.

Those not wishing to participate could always sell their bodies on the street to experience a customer-facing environment and all aspects of customer care.

A win-win. Well done!

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Anonymous Coward

You're crap at management..

You have spelled so many words with capitals without putting even the most basic effort into making sure it produces a working acronym.

Well, that's off to Foxconn for you then..

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FAIL

progress

Look at it this way I guess. Over a decade ago in China dozens of primary school children died at a fireworks factory that blew up which the government tried to claim was a school. Progress not perfection I guess. Unless of course you live in the USA in which case Newt Gingrich wants to bring back child labor.

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Re: progress

What I meant by progress is its college age adults being forced to work a crappy but largely non dangerous job. Its still crap and still shows just how much human capital is valued their and how as bad as western governments are there is worse.

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Has Visa commercial written all over it...

Contracted Chinese manual laborer - roughly 300 dollars a month

Contracted Indian Tech Support - Roughly 350 to 400 dollars a month

The fact that you're a CEO of a company thats stock is worth over 600 bucks a share AND still have the grapes to say that Apple are committed to human rights, sanitary and safe working conditions AND the environment: Priceless.

I don't care if the iPhanboi's flame me or not, I just find the whole thing just sad.

As I said in a previous post, I don't begrudge Apple any of the success it earned through the iPhone. It was the next evolutionary step back then. But you cannot ot tell me that the current and past CEO of Apple didn't/doesn't know what's going on with its major suppliers, and can still plead ignorance when something goes awry or becomes an international news snippet?

Business may just be business but this appears to be indicitive a company that has completely lost any last ethics it ever claimed to have.

Ya'll can keep your iPhones and iPads, I'll have nothing to do with them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Has Visa commercial written all over it...

Ya'll can keep your iPhones and iPads, I'll have nothing to do with them.

You must be living in a parallel Universe, one where other phones are magically not made with the same manufacturing methods.. At least Apple has enough market presence to have a PR need to clean this up. Google just changes the search engine results..

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Anonymous Coward

Apple's greed

is obscene

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Bronze badge

Apple are Evil !!!! (but so is everyone else)

It's always nice to see people focusing on an almost non existent Apple angle in an article. This is about Foxconn, not Apple, replace the mentions of 'iPhone' with 'highly expected smartphone' and you have the same story.

As the Article it's self said..

"said the Samsung, Nokia and Apple kit maker."

... The story isn't, "people in Apple factory made to do things they don't want to" it's "further possible human rights breaches in Chinese sweatshops"

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Anonymous Coward

Welcome to the Hotel California! :P

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Paris Hilton

How to share the guilt

When the Chinese eventually rise up and overthrow their dictators, will they blame past injustices on their own leaders who made the laws and enforced them with troops and prisons, or on the western consumers who bank-rolled the whole sordid business?

It probably ought to be the former, since many other countries seem to be managing economic growth and attracting western investment without *explicitly* enslaving their own population. However, public opinion is a fickle thing and the Chinese are strongly patriotic and have a long-standing distrust of round-eyed types.

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Boffin

«"The university told us it's a good way to experience corporate culture.»

The message seems to have been as follows : This, my dear students, is «corporate culture». If you don't swot all you're worth, you will end up experiencing it not merely for a month or so, but for the rest of your working life....

Talk about incentivising students - if I'd been exposed to FoxConn during my salad days, I'd probably have done twice the academic work in half the time ! British students can only hope that Michael Gove - the man with the bibles - doesn't read this article....

Henri

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