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

carlgo Avatar
104 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)
Laird Knox Avatar
104 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)
sesnir Avatar
104 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)
wyrmintheapple Avatar
104 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)
3282868 Avatar
104 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)
Laird Knox Avatar
104 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

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
iPad mini pro feature

Next iPad Mini Won't Feature Mini-LED Display, Claims Display Analyst

Friday July 23, 2021 8:07 am PDT by
Yesterday, DigiTimes claimed that the upcoming iPad mini will feature a mini-LED display, but now, display analyst Ross Young is going at odds with that report, claiming that while the updated iPad mini continues to be on track for a release this year, it won't feature a mini-LED display. Young says he "confirmed" with Radiant Opto-Electronics, who DigiTimes claims would provide Apple with...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. 13-Inch M1...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...