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ABC Previews 'Nightline' Visit to Foxconn's Chinese Factories

Over the weekend, ABC announced that it had been granted exclusive access to Foxconn's factories in China where the company assembled products for Apple, with the segment scheduled to air on a special edition of Nightline on Tuesday night.

ABC has now posted a preview of the segment, along with a teaser video from Nightline co-anchor Bill Weir.
Apple promised complete access, no dog-and-pony, no Potemkin Village, but they denied my repeated requests to interview Apple CEO Tim Cook or the senior vice president of industrial design, Jony Ive.

In a three-golf-cart convoy, both Apple and Foxconn reps took us around to a half dozen production lines in Shenzhen and Chengdu, and there were always five to six people with us as we toured the factories and dorms. But aside from suggesting a visit to the counseling center or canteen, they never steered us to interviews and never interrupted.

The extensive preview offers comments from several Foxconn employees, as well as Louis Woo, a former Apple executive who now serves as an advisor to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, and Fair Labor Association president Auret van Heerden.

Nightline's "iFactory: Inside Apple" segment airs tomorrow, February 21, at 11:35 PM Eastern and Pacific on ABC.

Top Rated Comments

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97 months ago
why isnt there this same level of scrutiny of america's chicken farms?
Rating: 60 Votes
97 months ago

why isnt there this same level of scrutiny of america's chicken farms?

There are more Apple haters than chicken farms haters ;)
Rating: 30 Votes
97 months ago
now lets see a tour of....

the processing facilities of a subcontractor who is processing chicken, cattle, pork for any big meat companies in the US market

or any of the subcontractors who are making toys for walmart, costco, target, etc for the US market

or any subcontractors who are picking your fruit and veggies that you eat every day

or any of the subcontractors who makes your clothing

...let alone the other computer manufacturers

if this is something you want Apple to feel "shame" about or get "blame", look in the mirror
Rating: 28 Votes
97 months ago
I like how the media tries to point to Apple and make people blame Apple. You can blame Apple for using Foxconn, if there are strange work practices, but you can blame a bunch of other major electronics people as well. Apple doesn't own Foxconn, it pays them to make the product.

There is this ignorant perception that Apple manages, owns, controls, and whips slaves down in the Foxconn building. If you follow the media, you'd think Steve Jobs is resurrected and eating the food denied to Foxconn people by their evil Apple overlord.

Hey. Work laws are different in different countries. Get used to it. This isn't McEarth.
Rating: 23 Votes
97 months ago
Let's hope they put the Foxconn salaries in context. Living over there does not cost anywhere as much as living here in the US or Europe.
Rating: 18 Votes
97 months ago
Were they making iPad3 while he was walking around? :o
Rating: 17 Votes
97 months ago

Glad to see you care more about chickens than people. There hasn't been a large number of humans committing suicide at chicken farms.

There was never a large number of suicides. The suicide rate of Foxconn workers is below that of China.
Rating: 17 Votes
97 months ago

No one is blaming Apple, but if Apple knows what's going on and still contracts Foxconn then it is a major concern for Apple buyers, stock holders and so forth. They are the most popular tech company, and that title will come with more responsibility in human rights and the environment.

There wasn't this attention on Dell, HP, IBM, or any other manufacturer and still isn't when it should be on the industry as a whole, not one company.
Rating: 16 Votes
97 months ago
Any chance of seeing it outside the US?
Rating: 15 Votes
97 months ago

According to the video, there are lots of people who have traveled to Foxconn just to get a chance to work at the factory and make $1.50 a day. The pay must be competitive in that part of the world, otherwise the people wouldn't be lining up to work there.

The starting wage at Foxconn was apparently $1.78 an hour, and has recently been increased by about $0.25. The workers can also rent dorm space for about $17 per month. The food in the cafeterias sounds like a good deal: A big bowl of meat, vegetables and rice for 80 cents.

Granted: Getting paid $2 an hour doesn't sound very good to us in the US. But it does allow young people to save up two or three hundred dollars a month. Enough to save up to buy a house, a small car, or a TV. And enough to start them and their families on the road to some sort of decent life. I have nothing but admiration for people willing to make such sacrifices.

I think one very good thing will come out of this: Maybe for the first time American TV viewers will come to appreciate the fact that Chinese workers are human beings just like us. That they have hopes, dreams, and feelings like we do. One comment (, in particular, stood out for me:

I pull out my own iPad to show her a few pictures of my kid and America and her eyes light up when she touches the screen to swipe another photo into view. She's never seen a working iPad up close before.

"For all the people in America who buy one of these, what do you want them to know about you?" I ask.

"I want them to know me," she says. "I want them to know we put a lot of effort in this product so when they use this please use it with care."

I cannot help but think about this, and remember the YouTube video (// of some jackass American kids posted of them smashing a brand new iPad with a baseball bat.

If there is any criticism going around, I think we Americans ought to look a little closer in the mirror.
Rating: 13 Votes

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