Apple Investigating Report of Forced Student Labor at Chinese Factory

Apple today said it is "urgently investigating" a report that claims Apple Watch manufacturer Quanta Computer has subjected teenage students to illegal work conditions at its factory in the Chinese city of Chongqing.

iphone production line operator china
"We are urgently investigating the report that student interns added in September are working overtime and night shifts," Apple said, in a statement issued to CNN. "We have zero tolerance for failure to comply with our standards and we ensure swift action and appropriate remediation if we discover code violations."

In a report last week, Hong Kong labor rights group Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior said Quanta was "using significant numbers of student workers aged 16-19 years" to assemble the Apple Watch, under working conditions that do not comply with Chinese regulations or Apple's own standards.

Based on an investigation during the summer of 2018, SACOM found that many students were forced to complete internships at Quanta, or face the risk of delayed graduation. The internships were often unrelated to each student's field of study, and lacked an educational component, according to the findings.

"Our school told us that we will be deferred if we don't do the internship," said a student majoring in early education. "If we resign then we will also receive our graduation certificate half a year later than others."

The report also found that students were often illegally required to work at least a few hours of overtime per day and overnight shifts.

In its statement, Apple said it audited Quanta's factory in Chongqing three times between March and June, and found "no student interns working on Apple products at that time," but noted students may have been hired in September. Apple has promised to take appropriate action if it discovers any violations.

On its Supplier Responsibility website, Apple says it holds itself and its suppliers to the "highest standard" when it comes to human rights, environmental protections, and responsible business practices in the supply chain.

In its 2018 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, Apple said it has enforced a limit of "no more than 10% student workforce at a supplier facility." The report adds that suppliers can offer overtime "only on a voluntary basis" and factories must give employees "one full day of rest for every six days worked."

Last year, Apple and its largest manufacturer Foxconn confirmed instances of students working overtime to assemble the iPhone X, and both companies vowed to take remedial action. Apple said the overtime work was completed voluntarily, with proper compensation and benefits, but in violation of Foxconn's policy.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Mansu944 Avatar
32 months ago
I don’t think Apple cares. It’s cheaper in China for a reason. Reasons like this.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
barkomatic Avatar
32 months ago
There is a labor shortage in China so bad they are forcing students to work in factories, yet there is very limited production in the U.S. I understand the economics of why certain things are made overseas, but this is ridiculous. Apple charges so much for its products that they could pay people $20 an hour here and still make a fortune.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
s2mikey Avatar
32 months ago
I don’t think Apple cares. It’s cheaper in China for a reason. Reasons like this.
They dont care but they have to make it *appear* they care. Its all about pleasing shareholders. If Apple really cared they'd build all this stuff here with American labor and pay them decent wages/benefits. But, clearly thats not an option. The eleventy-million-trillion in profit they pocket like every week just isnt quite enough.

And Im pro-capitalism too but this kind of stuff is NOT OK with me.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
32 months ago
el oh el. I love how people are shocked by this. Apple's always used slave labor to make its products on the cheap so why this comes as a shock to anyone is beyond me.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DNichter Avatar
32 months ago
just simple . Production stop or talk show only.
I am still not sure what you are saying here. Sorry.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
qawes Avatar
32 months ago
I assume when you get on your high horse that you do not buy Apple products do to your ethical concerns.
Unfortunately this practice is not limited by any means to Apple products.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

DigiTimes: iPhone 13 Pro Models to Feature 120Hz ProMotion Refresh Rate and 15-20% Less Power Consumption

Friday April 9, 2021 12:52 am PDT by
The two premium "Pro" models of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will be equipped with a low-power LTPO display, enabling the iPhones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. According to today's paywalled report, Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display are in the process of converting parts of their production capacity to produce LTPO ...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
fortnite apple featured

Epic's Case Against Apple in Australia Might Be Over

Friday April 9, 2021 12:21 pm PDT by
Epic Games and Apple are involved in a highly public lawsuit in the United States, but Epic has also sued Apple in other countries, including Australia, in an attempt to boost its chances of getting a favorable ruling. Things aren't quite going Epic's way, however, as the justice overseeing the case today decided that he's going to let the two companies battle it out in the United States. ...
Apple TV Ray Light Teal Film

Apple Wants to Draw Subscribers to Apple TV+ With More Feature Films

Friday April 9, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
Apple is ramping up its efforts to produce feature films, according to a new report from The Information. Apple has a limited number of high profile films already, including "Palmer," "Cherry," and "Greyhound," and sees it as a way to draw more people into Apple TV+. Apple has been telling studio executives that it is aiming to do more than 10 to 12 original movies per year for Apple TV+,...