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China groups accuse Apple of poor environmental and work safety standards

Posted: , by Alex I.

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China groups accuse Apple of poor environmental and work safety standards
China green groups have publicly criticized Apple for "lax corporate oversight of its suppliers in China", i.e. for the reportedly inhuman conditions that some workers assembling parts for Apple's products work in.

This is not the first time Apple has been accused that people working in its supply chain factories are putting a shift in a sweat shop. Just to remind you of the highly controversial story of the Foxconn employee who committed suicide back in 2009 (and after that, there were a few more suicides as well), and further revelations that "up to 50% of Foxconn's employees are abused either physically, verbally, or financially. "

Ma Jun, member of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), which played a part in publishing this report says that:

"We've found that Apple isn't honoring its commitment in ensuring its supply chain's work safety and environmental responsibility and giving dignity and respect to the workers.

[Apple] only care about the price and quality (of their products) and not the environmental and social responsibility issues. In some ways they drive the suppliers to cut corners to win their contracts.

Apple's lack of responsiveness eventually made us quite shocked. It's the whole complacency that it doesn't have to be account."

Just an example of these accusations is one of Apple's touchscreen suppliers - Lianjian Technology - which was accused of using N-Hexane, a toxic solvent. Reportedly, it poisoned at least 47 of the company's workers.

Apple has vehemently denied these accusations. An Apple spokeswoman has said:

"Our supplier responsibility reports document the progress of our extensive auditing program since 2006."

In the meantime, Apple managed to topple Nokia as the company with the biggest revenues, and is going from strength to strength financially.

source: Reuters

14 Comments
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posted on 20 Jan 2011, 08:53

1. SzY (unregistered)


1 work to describe this: Dissapointing (N)

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 09:48

2. Dave12 (unregistered)


Isn't that Foxconn's job?

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 10:13

5. sirfixalot (unregistered)


It is Foxconn's job, but like buying stolen goods, you are supporting bad businesses if you use services from rotten companies.

If you have a local restaurant that is known to be involved in human trafficking/drug trade/using child workers to keep costs down, would you think it is just fine if people eat there and thereby support this form of business, because after all, it is the owner's and authorities' problem?

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 10:06

3. Jim76 (unregistered)


You've obviously never dealt with bidding for jobs and getting a contract. Yes, it is Foxconn's responsibility, but they appear to be willing to cut corners to secure a contract. If Apple is truly the socially concious company they claim to be, they should be aware of what their suppliers are doing. Apple has the power here, they are the ones supplying the capital, so they can tell their suppliers to take care of their workers or they'll take their money and contract elsewhere.

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 10:08

4. jokersixty9 (Posts: 8; Member since: 01 Jan 2010)


This wouldn't be happening if these jobs were based in the U.S......

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 16:20

9. cheetah2k (Posts: 768; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


.... And Apple wouldn't be reporting $6Bn worth of record profits if these jobs were based in the US.

In addition to this article, has everyone forgotten the suicides in China??

Apple is just screwing their manufacturers for their own gain - although I'm sure Foxconn is making healthy profit as well.

While I'm a big fan of the iphone, since Apple started putting profits ahead of people, I've not touched an Apple device. I'll not buy and use something that essentially puts the blood, sweat and tears of Chinese workers on my hands....

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 10:40

6. ryq (unregistered)


this report was funded by google and released by samsung! joke :)

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 11:03

7. OsirisRa (Posts: 46; Member since: 17 Dec 2010)


Its costs Apple $100 at the most to make a iPhone, then turn around and sell it for $900. They rather please their investors with a profit every quarter. Its capitalism at its best and as much as I hate Apple. Its the same for every company in the U.S.

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 11:49

8. BH (unregistered)


How come nobody cares when it's a popular/cool product like an Iphone, Ipad, etc. but if memory serves me right everybody threw their arms up and almost boycotted Nike about 15yrs ago for unfair work conditions. I guess if there's self-serving motivators, who cares?!?!?!

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 16:40

10. Kevin (unregistered)


And where is Nike now? Making side deals with Apple trying to promote each other's products because they both know they're on the same ship regarding their laborers.

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 16:49

11. downphoenix (Posts: 2266; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


one time why Im proud I dont buy Apple products.

They also rank very poorly on Environmental practices too.

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 17:59

12. komelo (Posts: 14; Member since: 11 Jan 2011)


There's nothing you all cam do about this! This factory workers are happy to have a job, I dont know how true the allegations, but the company that handle the people should be blame for this, I don't think Samsung or Google has something to do with this or maybe some people will say ms is behind this, ms chips are made in China,everything is made from there, all company have factory over there, I'm not a iPhone fanboy, but I think its not fair to blame Apple for this, all this company are making billions of dollars, Apple,Nike,ms, etc.....get well soon Steve.

posted on 20 Jan 2011, 18:19

13. downphoenix (Posts: 2266; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


But Apple is to blame, they could have selected a company that would stand for making quality products by having happy, productive workers, but instead choose to side with a shady, overseas company

posted on 21 Jan 2011, 09:46

14. Yam Digger (unregistered)


It's one thing if the Sierra Club disses you on your environmental practices; but when the even the pollution tollerant Chinese have to call you to task on it, you know it's really bad!!!!

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