Foxconn Reportedly Making PS4s With Forced Student Labor

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Foxconn Reportedly Making PS4s With Forced Student Labor

foxconn 350

You may want to take some time to think about exactly where your next-gen console is coming from.

Reports are coming in from Chinese gaming media that Foxconn, the massive factory-city responsible for the assembly of consumer electronics from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Apple, are using some very dubious labor practices in the assembly of the upcoming PS4. According to Hong Kong's Oriental Daily, thousands of students from an IT engineering program at the Xi'an Institute of Technology are being forced to work at Foxconn's Yantai plant assembling Sony's upcoming console.

The program lures students in by posing as an "internship" that offers them credits towards their degree, but upon arriving at the factory, the students are often assigned tasks that have no bearing whatsoever on their field of study.

One student, for example, majored in finance and accounting but has been assigned to a job that entails gluing together PS4 components. Another, a computer science major, puts the PS4's various cords and the instruction manual into the console's box. Students are complaining that they are essentially working the exact same hours as regular employees, but because it is an internship, they aren't getting paid.

Foxconn has of course denied these allegations, and the Xi'an Institute dodged questions about the compulsory nature of the internship, stressing that the practice was legal and that it was "mainly about making students learn about society and experience life." It's worth noting that another controversial internship program involving Foxconn and this exact same college emerged last year, too.

Just for reference, 10% of Microsoft's Xbox One components are also assembled at the Foxconn plant.

Source: Games.qq.com (Chinese) via Games in Asia

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Psht why should I care about the plight of some chinese brat so long as I can get my entertainment console of choice on the cheap?

Steven Bogos:
Just for reference, 10% of Microsoft's Xbox One components are also assembled at the Foxconn plant.

I think this line alone will save the internet from about a handful of extra rage. Thank you.

This is pretty grim, especially since it might be "compulsory." I don't know if Xi'an Institute is a big name in China, but this can't help their reputation anywhere.

So not child labour just uni students going to a uni where part of their course is to do "work experience" or "internship" in a factory.
so more like 18-20 or even older so exploitative labor (but what isn't in china) but certainly not child labor just a pretty crappy uni.
I really see nothing wrong with this then wow that's unfair to those students they should change uni.
i'm cant be sure if parts will now be better or worse made hard to decide.

edit 1 read title as child labor.
2 two uni college just sub in and out.

There are a million jokes that I could be making right now, none of which are sensitive or appropriate.

I guess I'll just go with, "why the hell would anyone trust a company named 'Foxconn'"?

OT: That must suck. Really, companies need to stop using the term "internship" to mean "free labor for us" instead of its actual meaning.

Unfortunately, this is how all mass produced electronics are made. People will continue to ignore it since otherwise it would cost too much.

Desert Punk:
Psht why should I care about the plight of some chinese brat so long as I can get my entertainment console of choice on the cheap?

If they're all still there, I guess that alternatives are either no-nexistant, just as bad or maybe even worse.

Is there any electric device that isn't made by forced Chinese labor though?

They have entire polluted wastelands over there where people recycle cell phones and laptops and whatnot. To the detriment of their own health.

It's the uncomfortable truth behind practically all our entertainment. But what can we do about it?

Compatriot Block:

This is pretty grim, especially since it might be "compulsory." I don't know if Xi'an Institute is a big name in China, but this can't help their reputation anywhere.

If it's the same Xi'an Institute I take Postgraduate applications from, then their in the top 100 Chinese Universities
(who's students are the ones that universities in the West snap up like candy!)

OT This sucks, it's hard enough to justify buying a product when you know the people physically making it get paid so little, but students who are being paid nothing... glad I'm not buying one!

It's mainland China. Be glad they're not making them out of pure poison.

So... they are doing something that is only in the loosest way related to their diploma. Yep, sounds like a standard college education all right.

It sucks that they aren't getting paid but... this is only marginally worse than a lot of internships we have around here. And I live in the EU.

Friend of mine had to work 6h a day, the entire summer, in a different fucking city for his internship. With no pay. They did deduct his train tickets though. Which is nice.

They are being truthful I suppose. The students are indeed learning life lessons about how everyone is out to take advantage of you.

I really try to stay clear from all things assembled at Foxconn, which is why I'll probably never own a smartphone. But is there any piece of technology that isn't assembled there? I remember reading that Apple moved it's production line from Foxconn to another company. Apple of all people. And I dislike them the most.

Wait...
You're telling me the goods I buy, from 3rd World nations and/or countries with little to no regulation and massive amounts of corruption...
Is abusing their workforce?

Reading the headline I pictured 10 year olds, not "kids" majoring in finance. Click bait much, I just assume that any piece of technology is glued together with childs tears.

I would however be lying if I said I cared for the plights of people slightly younger than I am being stiffed at an internship. It's not like they're shackled to the workstations.

Adam Jensen:
I really try to stay clear from all things assembled at Foxconn, which is why I'll probably never own a smartphone. But is there any piece of technology that isn't assembled there? I remember reading that Apple moved it's production line from Foxconn to another company. Apple of all people. And I dislike them the most.

They moved it to a factory that employs toddlers who glue all components together using their tears. Shame on you western civilization...

You would think, that with a population of 1 billion people that the 'grapevine' would actually be very effective in spreading worthwhile pieces of information... like 'Foxconn are exploiting people (again)

I don't want these unqualified undergraduates making my consumer electronics; I just don't trust them. What happened to the 8-year old Thai boy who normally makes it? I want him back.

So, how do I know what electronics are manufactured at foxconn then? And how prolific are those guys anyway? Cause I'd like to avoid them where ever possible. Though it probably cannot be done if it's in every gaming device out there...

Plus, millions are sold of them...

I remember this happening a year or so ago, with MS, Sony and Apple all saying they were making their own inquiries. That was the last I heard about it. We keep hearing these stories, but nobody actually tells us how things got resolved (if they did, or whether they were brushed under the carpet).

MrHide-Patten:
Reading the headline I pictured 10 year olds, not "kids" majoring in finance. Click bait much, I just assume that any piece of technology is glued together with childs tears.

I would however be lying if I said I cared for the plights of people slightly younger than I am being stiffed at an internship. It's not like they're shackled to the workstations.

I never said children. I said STUDENT labor.

MrHide-Patten:
Reading the headline I pictured 10 year olds, not "kids" majoring in finance. Click bait much, I just assume that any piece of technology is glued together with childs tears.

I would however be lying if I said I cared for the plights of people slightly younger than I am being stiffed at an internship. It's not like they're shackled to the workstations.

So being forced to do unpaid work of no relevance to their degree mearly to complete their degrees is fine because they aren't children.

oldtaku:
It's mainland China. Be glad they're not making them out of pure poison.

This, remember this is a country where they make counterfeit eggs for consumption.

You would think companies would avoid a manufacturer like Foxconn which has to install suicide-prevention netting around its buildings.

Terramax:
I remember this happening a year or so ago, with MS, Sony and Apple all saying they were making their own inquiries. That was the last I heard about it. We keep hearing these stories, but nobody actually tells us how things got resolved (if they did, or whether they were brushed under the carpet).

I think all of the corporate inquiries end with, "Well, we could stop it... but that would mean paying for labor. Eeehhhhh..."

hickwarrior:
So, how do I know what electronics are manufactured at foxconn then? And how prolific are those guys anyway? Cause I'd like to avoid them where ever possible. Though it probably cannot be done if it's in every gaming device out there...

Plus, millions are sold of them...

Its faster to ask which goods are not manufactured at Foxconn, they have dozens of massive factories across the world from the Indian Subcontinent to South America but are concentrated in East Asia. They make parts as well as complete items and some of the big brands they make complete items for include Apple, Dell, Sony, Nokia, Nintendo, Microsoft, Acer, Amazon (Kindles & whatnot), Google, Hewlett Packard. Big telecoms companies like Huawei and Cisco have most of their hardware like phones, switchboards and servers made by them too.

They make around one-third to half of all consumer electronics in the world, almost everything has parts that have passed through Foxconn at some point.

Oh, hi, we're China, we make yo shit and have 1/7th of humanity to feed, is that news to you?

Really all we can do is shake out heads and tut-tut-tut disapprovingly.

Cybylt:

I think all of the corporate inquiries end with, "Well, we could stop it... but that would mean paying for labor. Eeehhhhh..."

I don't even think it went that far. More like 'we knew it was happening, but now we have to pretend we care until it falls out of the spotlight, and then it's business as usual.'

Maybe this will show what a horrible person I am, but at this stage, it's practically safe to assume that your electronic goods are being made in conditions you'd rather they weren't. And when Foxconn's involved, poor-quality internships aren't the worst thing you could think about. So I really don't care. There's not shit I can do about it.

As someone above already mentioned, this doesn't seem particularly outlandish compared to where I live; where internships in many cases really are little more than excuses to exploit young people for cheap/free labour. The distinction here is that this behaviour is simply being taken to its blatant extreme.

If this kind of exploitation constitutes something 'bad' in China; then we're closing the gap on them in the race to the bottom.

Incidentally, is Foxconn by any chance the place that reportedly installed nets to prevent their workers from killing themselves?

An odd tale to be sure. Not quite sure where I sit on the issue. People bring up child labor; which is bad/wrong, but what about adults (young adults mind you) being put to work. True it's something they're not being paid for so yeah it's rather mean thing to do.

Arawn:
An odd tale to be sure. Not quite sure where I sit on the issue. People bring up child labor; which is bad/wrong, but what about adults (young adults mind you) being put to work. True it's something they're not being paid for so yeah it's rather mean thing to do.

It seems mild in relative terms and should be clearly wrong. They're not learning anything and could wreck their entire careers if they tried to opt out.

The point is also that they are compelled to do so by their university / course, they literally cannot opt out of being exploited for their time, at least our frequently exploitative internships in the West aren't compulsory labour on unskilled manufacturing work.

Well, this'll teach me not to complain about my future internships.

Khanht Cope:

Incidentally, is Foxconn by any chance the place that reportedly installed nets to prevent their workers from killing themselves?

Yes it was.

image

Foxconn is a cheap factory.

Most makers use Foxconn to assemble products to sell them as cheaply as possible.

Except who? Yep, Apple. Everyone else uses cheap manufacturing to sell cheaply. Apple uses cheap manufacturing to sell expensive products with a huge margin.

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