What is hidden behind the biggest Apple factory in China?
A real story from the "iPhone city".
The most valuable brand in the world Apple has been facing many accusations from its competitors and rivals. Last month came up in the news the allegation that they are using the child workforce in their main Chinese supply chain Suyin electronics. In this YouTube video we can get a sneak peak into the biggest factory of the Californian tech giant in China so we find out if this is true.
Let’s start with the first important element: Apple always hires a subcontractor to produce their goods in China. Among all of them, FoxConn Technology Group is the most famous company that is working for Apple. Founded by the so-called “The Taiwanese Donald Trump” Terry Gou whose worth is around 5 billion dollars, the company is the biggest employer in China with 1.3 million staff members in 2018. Among Samsung and HP, it is most famous for working with Apple in the so-called “iPhone city” Zhengzhou. Located in one of the poorest regions in China, it is a home of around 350 000 people working in the plant. Working like a real army, their capacity is nearly 350 iPhones per minute.
How does the recruitment process look like: in 2017 a student from NYE called Dejian Zeng went undercover in Zhengzhou and reported that all he had to do is to get on the line of thousands of applicants in front. He got examined on the English alphabet and he spent 6 months in order to explore the labor situation. His main complaint was from his supervisor yelling at him 6 days per week. Aside from this, the Hunan province is setting quotas for different cities across the whole region and guaranteeing equal gender distribution in the workforce in the factory with typical age between 18 and 25 years old.
Still, the working conditions are questionable as FoxConn is ensuring a dormitory right next to the plant 8 people sharing a room and sometimes only one bathroom shared with 200 people. One report claims that the employees are forbidden from resigning in the busiest periods. Another says that the conditions are not worse than any other Chinese factory. And actually, the most common complaint from the employees in FoxConn is not about the working conditions but about the type of work leading to boredom which leads to a huge staff turnover.
Let’s wrap it up: as the living standard in China improves, the future for Apple’s low prices does not seem quite brighter. Maybe it’s time to reconsider their workforce policy.
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