Chinese Officials Investigating Accusations of Toxic Metal Dumping by Two Apple Suppliers

by

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Chinese government officials are investigating Apple suppliers and electronics manufacturers UniMicron and Foxconn after local environmental groups accused both of dumping large amounts of toxic heavy metals into nearby rivers. The area in question is an industrial district 40 miles west of Shanghai that has been a longtime area of electronics development, but has also recently been suspected of letting harmful pollutants into China's environment.

foxconn_workers_2

Local officials are investigating plants owned by Taiwanese companies Foxconn Technology Group and UniMicron Technology Corp., said Ding Yudong, the vice director of the local arm of China's environmental regulator. The probe follows accusations late last week by Chinese environmental activist Ma Jun and a group of five nonprofit organizations that the companies are releasing water tainted with heavy metals into the rivers.

An Apple spokeswoman replied to the accusations, saying that the company has been working in cooperation with suppliers and environmental groups to meet the standards established by the company. Apple has published Supplier Responsibility Progress Reports every year since 2007 to track the ethical progress of its suppliers in order to bring transparency to its manufacturing process. The company also recently established an academic advisory board for its Supplier Responsibility program to ensure "safe and ethical working conditions wherever its products are made."

Last month, a Chinese worker’s rights group brought forth allegations of poor working conditions at Pegatron, another primary Apple supplier and electronics manufacturing company. The labor group accused Pegatron of making numerous safety and workplace violations, including the unethical holding of worker pay and poor living conditions within the factory. Pegatron currently employs 70,000 workers and produces one-third of the world's iPhones and iPads.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
92 months ago
Been saying for years that dodging taxes and environmental regulation is the main reason for off-shore production, not the labor rate.

And the biggest problems are not from the large well-known companies, but from the suppliers up and down the production chain, from mining to making little parts.

I don't think it can be shown that "socialized" industries have a better environmental record than their capitalist counterparts.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago

I'm calm. I just think that a different world is possible. Don't you?


Besides frothing at the mouth, what is your solution?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago

Dumping large amounts of toxic heavy metals into nearby rivers? Usual **** for corporation like Apple, they are rotten inside because capitalism is.

Reports made by the same corporation are just ******** over ********. How can you expect that they hurt their own profits?

First of all, this isn't Apple dumping stuff. Second, Apple is not their only client!

Foxconn makes Microsoft and Nintendo consoles, for example.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago


But hey! Corporations are soo good inside. <3


This is the same faulty liberal argument I have with my partner. "Apple are so rich so they should fix the ills of the world....."

You can't create a fair and just world by unfairly apportioning blame.

Apple make an obscene amount of money. They make this money because they get preferential prices from companies who want apples business. "I will offer you a long and prosperous business relationship if you give me some more competitive prices". There is nothing wrong with this. It's exactly what everyone would do.

Where the system breaks down is that the supplier is making these preferential prices by cutting corners. That's the crux of the issue. Foxconn are breaking the rules. They are in fact breaking the law, and should be punished for it. Lax chinese laws and political corruption are the problem here, not the fact that apple uses them as a supplier.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago

Apple didn't do it, Apple is a customer, so what you are saying is that every customer of Apple that buy an iPhone or so are just as guilty.

People vote with their dollars, that's how capitalism works.

We know what's been happening over seas as we're tech savvy and MacRumors has covered these matters many times. Certainly other companies use the same manufacturers, however it doesn't excuse Apple or any other company for not taking a genuine stance. Cook appearing at Foxconn and meeting the workers for photo op's and P.R. is hardly a genuine act towards bettering these matters. If you know that your money is going to support a company which utilizes a great deal of manufacturing from another company with well documented employee and environmental abuse, then indirectly you are supporting that system whether you agree or not.

The tired excuses wear thin after a few years. Since other companies use the same manufacturers with questionable working conditions and toxic waste means it's ok. Heck, if Foxconn can bend the law, why can't we? "We're not Foxconn, so you can't blame us." BS. Electronics companies are not ignorant and blind to what is happening, they feign shock and make a few announcements and perhaps a photo op, but you'd be kidding yourself.

People leave their families to work ungodly hours and live in cubicles next to their factories so we can boast, complain, moan and fight over electronic devices that [frankly] we don't really need. There was a time long, long ago when human beings would actually meet face to face instead of texting and emailing. Wow!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago

Wait a moment, you call criticism "frothing at the mouth"?

Yes I would call a post with multiple expletives that required editing by a moderator frothing at the mouth.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...