Samsung's "zero tolerance" against child labor isn't really absolute

Over the recent years, consumers have started to become more aware of the working conditions in Asian factories where our electronics are built. The most infamous case involved Apple products being built in Foxconn facilities, but all electronics makers need to be wary of similar issues. To that point, Samsung recently had to enact its supposed "zero tolerance policy" against child labor, because of infractions at Dongguan Shinyang Electronics Co Ltd. The trouble is that Samsung's "zero tolerance policy" isn't as absolute as you might expect. 

The story goes like this. The U.S.-based China Labor Watch found that there were at least five children under the age of 16 (the legal working age in China) employed at Dongguan Shinyang Electronics. Samsung suspended business with the company, pending the investigation. Then, Chinese investigators found that there were underage employees at the facility, but they were contract workers hired by an outside firm, meaning they didn't technically work for Dongguan Shinyang Electronics. 

As a result, Samsung said it "has decided to still take measures against Dongguan Shinyang to hold the supplier responsible for failing to monitor its subcontractors, in accordance with Samsung's zero tolerance policy on child labour." That "zero tolerance policy" isn't as absolute as it sounds though, and just means that Samsung will reduce its business with Dongguan Shinyang Electronics by 30%. This is the strongest response yet by Samsung in regards to child labor troubles. And, Samsung has vowed to "further strengthen its monitoring process" in an effort to avoid more issues. 

What do you guys think? Is this response strong enough?

source: Reuters



1. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

24. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

The PA trombone player: "Samsung's "zero tolerance" against child labor isn't really absolute" Because Samsung cut the business with this China company "only" 30%. Not like Apple cut Foxtron 100%. ROTFL

2. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

What if these child labour are children who actually want to work to earn a living and support their families? If they are not ill treated and given a reasonable wage that they accept then?

8. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

Wow, I never thought anyone would ask this question. In accordance with U.S. law; you must be authorized to work. If 16 is the legal age in china then that should be it. Child labor laws are designed to protect children. Whether or not a child wants to work is not going to matter. and generally if your a good company; you will find people of age who can handle the work load.

9. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

I mean it's definitely debatable. As in if this is in some countries that do not have such stringent law enforced. I'm not advocating child labour but who are we to judge their choices unless ofc they are forced child labour then that's a different story. I know it's protecting the children but from another viewpoint, if they really need that job to support themselves, I do not see why they can't have it if their welfare is taken care of.

13. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

Ok, let me put it this way. Whether the country has laws or not or limited should not matter. Children need to be going to school. That's why there is foreign age so children can go to school. Putting kids right to work is just wrong. Despite what a child may want "we judge because we are adults". kids just don't have the wide range of decision making abilities that an adult does. so that does sound commendable that a child would want to take care of the family, but how well can the child physically execute is another story. Child labor is so ancient and should not be tolerated despite circumstances.

14. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

That's an interesting argument you brought up here! In our culture, we may deem it to be right and moral to put a child to study but in other cultures if they deemed it right to let their child go work and learn a skill, we are not one to impose our own culture on theirs. But it's a valid point nonetheless and it's been good to exchange some pointers with you. Once again, I don't advocate child labour but just trying to think things from their point of view instead of my own!:)

30. canucker78

Posts: 4; Member since: May 27, 2014

Problem is that incentives parents using their children for working, big problem for over-population, poverty and lack of education.

3. uzimafioso

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

I never really believed that PA is against Samsung but this is one heck of a biased article. Samsung didn't employ kids. The company they contract had a contractor who did. Sammy decreased their business with the contractor to discourage them and others from hiring subcontractors that utilize child labor. Wth is Samsung supposed to do now? They are doing a good. What would Michael H. the ingenious writer of this article rather have em do? Shut down production? This is futile...

5. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

I don't believe this a biased article from Phone Arena. This just, right and honest. PA in not capable twisting the facts especially when Samsung paid for an sponsored article last week. ROFL XD

7. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

PS: I really hate your 240 seconds edit limit PA.

12. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Edit: Ignore this comment.

15. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

So you are new to PA. LOL Why don't you ask them , why Apple didn't cut the business with Foxtron 100% ??? Or even 30%. Ask them why they don't write article about that!!!!!!

18. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

"Don't ask, don't tell".

19. uzimafioso

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

I've been reading articles for around 5 6 years now and never bothered commenting cause it's mostly fanboy bashing and i dont like that. Foxconn is the company which owns BB now.. I read it here somewhere, anyway it's awkward how they can't just be responsible journalists instead they are downplaying a company which is trying to reduce child labor. Apple doesn't care. They just see what would cost them less. That's why they shifted all manufacturing to China...

22. meanestgenius

Posts: 22490; Member since: May 28, 2014

Foxconn doesn't "own" BlackBerry. Never have. They have a business arraignment in place. Nothing more. J/S.

25. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

I thought i read that right. Yeah, Blackberry isn't owned by anyone.

28. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

You also forgot to mention that Foxconn had another of suicides in their factories I don't see past write a lot of articles bout that.

4. duartix

Posts: 311; Member since: Apr 01, 2014


6. rantao333

Posts: 346; Member since: May 21, 2013


11. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Please tell me you're joking.

16. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

How many % Apple cut the Foxtron about the child labor???? May be 100%????? That's why PA is angry to Samsung, but not to Apple. ROTFL

27. iZman48

Posts: 8; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

U have to be joking If u aren't then u call phone arena biased look at u apple hater. Child labor is bad no matter who does it .fool

10. mturby unregistered

seriously, i hate these guys even more, when it comes to child labor (samsung). Is it that hard to stop this issue? This is 2 u samsung ceo. Get the heck out of that chair, go to china and start firing every manager u c.

17. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

But you love Apple. Right?

20. mturby unregistered

No Sailor-Moon. I like Motorola, Nexus and LG. Apple is a great Android Competitor and IOS Smartphones are powerful and popular. i OWN the LG Optimus G. Next jump will be Nexus 5

23. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

So , as expected , about Apple: Or good or nothing. Right? But bashing Samsung , must go on. " Apple is a great Android Competitor and IOS Smartphones are powerful and popular" Next time try harder ! LOL

21. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

This is a direct bitch slap to apple.

26. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

You know what; at the end of the day. Whats done is done. Will companies be more concious of their moral values; so long as money is involve I doubt it. Any company that produces any sort of gadget which involves electronics or whatever is probably made in asia. So we already know the likely hood of some factories being involved with crazy stuff such as child labor. The only reason anyone cares is because the consumer is starting to care. Thats the bread and butter of any business.

29. chaoscauser

Posts: 39; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

What do I think? I think you are an asshole. 14 or 15 is old enough to do the job. They forged ID cards or age certificates to get the job. They worked hard to support their family, not for fun. Now they lost their jobs and they are forced to go to school to please/ satisfy people like you. That's it. If you can't remove the root cause of juvenile labor issues in China or India, just let it go. That might me better. You will not be happy to see them working at a factory though. They were happy for what they do for their family. People like you took it away from them.

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