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Foxconn chief Terry Gou says people are animals, after all, and he has to deal with a million of them

Posted: , by Daniel P.

Foxconn chief Terry Gou says people are animals, after all, and he has to deal with a million of them
Apple, which just put several of its suppliers on monitoring about working conditions at their factories, is not going to be happy about this latest development.

The boisterous Foxconn CEO Terry Gou had the following comment to make at the Taipei Zoo's annual meeting: "Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million worldwide, and as human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache".

Granted, he was entertaining the Taipei Zoo president Chin on the stage at the moment, jokingly asking him after his lecture how does he manage his animals. Still, the remark didn't fly well, and WantChinaTimes, which reported the incident, noted that he could have chosen his words more carefully.

Terry Gou with his family at a charity event for the Taipei Zoo January 15

Terry Gou with his family at a charity event for the Taipei Zoo January 15

Mr Gou is the perfect example of the Chinese Dream - a self-made man, who took a loan from his mother to start a small shop with ten people in 1974 to make plastic parts, and now employs the said million workers, assembling the vast majority of iPhones and iPads, among other assorted gadgetry.

He quickly became a textbook example for "rampant capitalism", buying a $30 million castle in the Czech Republic, filling the tabloids with stories about sexual tape blackmails, or doing push-ups at his 2010 wedding to demonstrate his tip-top shape. All the while Foxconn working conditions were surrounded with controversy, factory fires, trade secrets leaks, and several suicides by workers there.

Foxconn's CEO started traveling to college campuses and talking with young people there, raising salaries and bonuses, and improving work conditions after the incidents, concluding that younger Chinese workers are no more willing to work as if in labor camps, and the days of China as only a cheap labor supplier are coming to an end.

The end conclusion seemingly was that if people with too various needs, dreams and aspirations to be managed effectively get in the way, you can always replace them with robots, which is exactly what he is doing. The CEO said last year that Foxconn will be deploying about a million-strong robot army to assemble gadgets within three years, with 2012 alone seeing 300 000 of them taking over the conveyor belts.

Terry Gou's personal fortune is said to be north of $6 billion, and we can't wait to see if his "animal" remark will make the late-night comedy shows round, as Foxconn got in the crosshairs of Jon Stewart the other day, which you can see in the video below.

source: WantChinaTimes via PCMag


27 Comments
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posted on 20 Jan 2012, 06:40 8

1. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


He's a f*ckin' doouchebag.. and a fu*ckin' moron..

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 12:16 2

17. PaulNotFromSweden (Posts: 51; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Is that really the most intelligent comment you were able to come up with? How about adding something positive to the discourse next time. Because really, I doubt he's a moron. As for being a "doouchebag", I'll have to take your word on that; apparently, you're an authority on the subject.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 18:28

21. tedkord (Posts: 4275; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


He may not have been eloquent, but he was accurate.

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 05:00

26. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


I meant to thumbs you down. And is that the most intelligent name you were able to come up with?

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 06:41 17

2. andro. (Posts: 1935; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Its no surprise that Apple is the major user of foxconn labour as after all its a well known fact that apple also views people as animals,more specifically it views its buyers as sheep!!

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 07:24 7

5. bloodline (Posts: 691; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


lol apple sucks

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 07:51 5

6. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


very true and it also throws some light on mr. jobs/apple philosphy

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 07:53 4

7. bighandssmallpockets (Posts: 38; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


funny...I agree with the sheep part, but you are kidding yourself if you think most of the stuff you buy isn't manufactured in the same conditions.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:11 5

12. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


unfortunately a lot of the stuff that we love to play with is made in less than ideal conditions. Foxconn is among the worst though.. and out of foxconn's own "mouth", the factory conditions are at least partially dictated by the customer for whom's product they are making, and according to that same mouth, apple's chenzen plant is the worst working conditions in all of foxconn. that is where all the suicides and jumper nets take place.

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 00:38

23. BattleBrat (Posts: 1038; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


ROFL!

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 06:49 4

3. PimpStrong (Posts: 310; Member since: 25 Jul 2011)


Paid slavery. Sadly, those Chinese workers will be begging for work once Foxconn goes all i-Robot on us.

What happened in the auto industry when robots became so prominent?

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:12 3

13. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


well, the companies that went robotic and paid no attention to unions, thrived. those that caved to pressure to unions did not. ford vs GM.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 07:09 1

4. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Interesting comment but considering biology, aren't humans considered animals? Despite our capacity to use cognitive reasoning and sense of self worth, we are still just like those animals we like to domesticate and stare at behind cages in a zoo. Ever see what a human devolves to when you take away all of their rights and self worth? As a matter of fact, humans which are the superior of all beings on this earth tend to do things that even animals wouldn't do. We are capable of things that far outstrip anything an animal could do it other animals, but when we are called animals we get offended...I'm pretty sure that the animals are just as offended. Animals go on instinct and well only things I notice that humans do on instinct is pass blame when something goes wrong...it's someone else fault. Last I checked I never heard of animals starting wars over some booty, we humans tend to do some crazy things for that? Lie , cheat, steal heck even kill...but heck no we aren't animals...no animal ever plots to kill another. I don't see sheep plotting to mass murder wolves because one wolf ate his mother.

While this Foxconn guy is clearly outspoken, he is really saying what is on his mind. Too bad that his company has issues stemming from mistreatment of it's workers...something that animals don't do to one another...so I wonder which is better to called an animal or a human?

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 07:55 4

8. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


did you even read the article ? i am sorry to thumb you down but this guy/foxconn/ apple all are morons. what you are saying is probably right but doesn`t relate to this thing.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 08:42 2

9. ardent1 (Posts: 1991; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


> something that animals don't do to one another

Clearly, MOTN never saw wild animinals -- they eat the weak to survive -- it's a well defined food chain. If you are sick, hurt or young, then you become a prime target for your predator. In the wild animals forage for food and the carnivores will devour other animals in order to live.

> no animal ever plots to kill another.

Again, MOTN never saw animals hunt in packs or prides, etc. Chimps hunt in groups and are quite successful in wiping out the smaller monkeys as a food source.

Check out this link:http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/05/chimps-hunting-monkeys-closer-extinction

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:15 4

14. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


he should have used a more correct term like mammals. yes, we are all mammals. The connotation of "animal" brings about the feeling of "less than human"... which is actually what he probably meant anyways.

yes, animals kill in anger, animals commit genocide and homicide, animals cheat, rape, steal, and the whole 9 yards. The 3 biggest things that separate us from MOST other mammals is opposible thumbs, higher cognitive thought, and speech.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:30 4

15. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


very true.

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 05:07 2

27. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


The sheep, wolf example was horrible. Sheep are incapable of killing a wolf, whether they wanted to, or not. But, actually, some animals are very defensive, and will plot on killing any other animal they think had to do with the murder of a family member. Elephants would be one of those animals. And I saw it with my own eyes(On T.V.).

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 09:09 2

10. nastynaps (Posts: 93; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Morephones, if my piss poor office computer had a version of IE greater than 4.0 I would be glad to give you a thumbs up and post a response under Zeus to tell him how wrong he is. Zeus you obviously can't wait to scream about how bad Apple sucks for partnering with Foxconn but MPTN is speaking to a greater issue that this article should stir in any thinking human. What are we doing in Western culture consuming these products (I assure you Apple is not the only company using manufacturers that don't give a damn) without thinking about where they come from. We've exported our jobs but not our work standards. It makes me indirectly contribute to degrading conditions to people all around the world and for me personally it creates a moral dillemma and shows me how little backbone I have for things I believe in. Also, makes me feel kind of hopeless for humanity.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 09:47 5

11. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


i agree with you but i never said everyone else is right. i just said this foxconn guy sucks. thats all.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 11:45 1

16. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


I was just saying that we as the dominant species are capable of behaviors you do not see in the animal world. But in the same breadth get offended if someone classes us as an animal, when we can be guilty of worse things than any animal can do to another animal. We don't do much on instinct, in fact we actually think about things before doing them, making majority of things we do premeditated. Yea, now put that together with some of the most heinous crimes known to man and you would see just how far below an animal we can go when we are good and ready. We call it inhuman as there isn't anything else to class it against, because nothing else on this planet would commit such acts willfully.

@ardent...animal eating one another to survive is nothing more than survival of the fittest...it's the law of nature...someone has to be food. Circle of life, get used to it. Both of your points are well taken, but neither are what you would call malice. Which is a behavior than humans can harbor, we don't have to kill to survive and the only time it comes to that is in self preservation which is basic instinct in all living things, even down to single celled organisms.

You'd be surprised to know how much a part of every piece of technology Foxconn is. Crack open your desktop, laptop, netbook, iPad and look for the Foxconn installed part. You think that these poor work conditions just started? You think these companies didn't know about them before hand? Of course they did, but why say anything if the authorities in the country don't? As long as they are getting their money and the other side gets their goods, they can care less what happens to the workers, as they say, everyone is replaceable. This about that last statement is, it is heard all too often. Humans, the only species capable of unthinkable acts of cruelty but still capable of acts of love...two sides of the same coin.

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 01:17

25. ardent1 (Posts: 1991; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


1. The workers at Foxconn in the mainland Chinese plants are employees at will operating under the mainland Chinese employment law, which is a lot different than say illegal Chinese immigrants at unsafe sweat shops in Chinatown, NYC.

2. These are good wages and conditions for mainland China, a country with over 1.2 billion people and not enough jobs to go around. The alternative for many of these workers, mainly the women, is much worse than working at Foxconn.

3. Apple audits the factories and Apple tries to be transparent about their suppliershttp://www.apple.com/supplierresponsibility and these reports go back to 2007. We are able to complain because Apple makes the information publicly available unlke the other consumer electronics companies. Apple knows about underage workers and states "[c]ases of underage labor were down significantly" for the 2012 report.

4. If you want to harp about underage workers, look at the garment industry, especially in India. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_labour_in_India

@MorePhonesThanNeeded, you stated "neither are what you would call malice." If you want malice, I'll give you malice.

A. You need to open your eyes and the REAL ANIMAL Kingdom.
B. The Chimps that weighs 70 lb are killing the those 20 lb monkeys for sport as part of male bonding
C. Mallard drakes routinuely kill mallard hens during raping season, i.e. duck rape or flight rape, and can drown a hen in water during the gang rape. And yes, the male mallard will rape other male mallard ducks.
D. The adult geese will kill and drown ducklings to reduce the competition for food so their goslings will have a better chance of surviving; female mallard hens also harm and kill other ducklings as well.
E. A bald eagle will lay two eggs but only raise the first chick such that the second chick will die from neglect; the second chick is an insurance policy
F. When a male lion joins a new pride, it will kills all the existing cubs in order to get the lioness back into heat -- the new male lion doesn't want kids that aren't his.
G. Tiger sharks embryos engage in cannibalism of its siblings, yes the first developing embryo will eat other embryos as it develops. http://www.nytimes.com/1982/12/07/science/in-shark-womb-fetus-cannibalizes-rivals.html?pagewanted=all

Yes, animals act with MALICE all the time -- you just don't know about it.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 15:48 1

18. LoneShaolin (Posts: 307; Member since: 14 Jan 2012)


Mr. Gou does not look like the world's best shepherd

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 18:43 2

22. AriesRam (Posts: 4; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)


He is an animal too by his own words. He does not deserve the salute "Mr". .....this is only used for addressing human. We should call Br. Guo (Br = Bastard).

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 16:07 2

19. Giggity (Posts: 147; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)


Wanna hear a darker side of Foxconn? They're using underage children for labor, 16 hours a day, 70 cents an hour. Out of 400,000ish people employed by Foxconn, 5% are underage.

Original article:
http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-01-15/tech/30628970_1_iphones-ipads-apple

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 18:23 2

20. AriesRam (Posts: 4; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)


F^^k the Foxconn chief....a disgrace to the Chinese.

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 00:39 1

24. enternamehere (Posts: 9; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


If treated like anmimals no wonder Foxconn employees want to jump from the building roof!

freaking slavers

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