Economy

Foxconn Reportedly Used Illegal Student Labour To Manufacture iPhone Xs

Foxconn Reportedly Used Illegal Student Labour To Manufacture iPhone Xs

An 18-year-old student told reporters that she has to assembled as many as 1,200 iPhone cameras in a single day.

The students, whose ages range from 17 to 19, told the paper they were informed that a "three-month stint" working on the iPhone assembly line was a "work experience" requirement they had to fulfill in order to graduate from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School. Apple, however, insisted that "the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits".

Several reports on the matter have surfaced this morning, including one from the Financial Times (shared by CNET) that cites a number of Chinese high school students who've come forward to back the claim.

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"All work was voluntary and compensated appropriately", a factory spokesperson said.

Of course, this wouldn't be the first time Apple and Foxconn have been called out for their unsavory employment practices - which have historically focused on the schedules and otherwise impure working conditions faced by Foxconn's factory workers in the Far East. You might even be able to guess which supplier operates the plant they were working at-and not because the list of iPhone X assemblers is so short.

Six of them told The Financial Times that they routinely worked 11-hour days, which is illegal under Chinese law. Based on Apple's actions, Qiang said, it seems like they don't care about the labor standards they set previously. News reports abounded prior to and shortly after the iPhone X's launch claiming that Apple was struggling to manufacture certain parts.

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Foxconn worked with local governments and vocational institutions to organize the internship program.

"Apple actually knew about this a couple of weeks ago, however they haven't resolved the issue yet", Qiang added.

In its 2013 report, China Labor Watch found conditions in factories run by Pegatron, another major Apple supplier, similar to those uncovered by the Financial Times.

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According to early rumors, it's possible that Samsung is working on FaceID-like features for it's next iteration of the Galaxy smartphone as it looks to better position itself against Apple's iPhone X. However, early rumors on the device point to plenty of software upgrades for the S9 with limited improvements in the actual hardware.


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