Affordable gadgets vs. Chinese workers’ rights [Updated 2x]

[Update: Here’s the petition.]
[Update 2: Controversy about the source for some of the Foxconn/Apple-specific critique: This American Life retracts Apple/Foxconn story]

Three recent news articles (and one response) return the spotlight to the mammoth electronics factories in China that make most of our favourite electronics, pointing out what everybody knows and no one wants to think about:

Happy Chinese workers spell the end of affordable tech (ZDNet)
“Human and worker rights reforms in China would have serious negative consequences for the efficiency and cost of the gadget supply chain.
“Foxconn’s client list reads like a celebrity tech roster that includes Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Intel, Lenovo, IBM, Cisco/Linksys, Netgear, Microsoft, Sharp, Sony, Motorola, Asus, Acer and Vizio… tablet runners and e-reader champions Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Yes, your Kindles and Nooks are also made by the very same companies with the same awful working conditions that make products for Apple.”

The dark side of shiny Apple products (CBS News)
“…our most popular electronic devices are largely made by hand … MANY hands, as it turns out … hands that often are very over-worked, or so industry’s critics contend.”
“”I met workers who were 12. Do you really think Apple doesn’t know?”

“But what was news were the suicides…”

In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad (NYT)
BSR: New York Times’ Apple-Foxconn article contains untruths, inaccuracies, and misleading info (Mac Daily News)

3 thoughts on “Affordable gadgets vs. Chinese workers’ rights [Updated 2x]”

  1. Mostly his interest in Mac products. He said that, to relax, he likes to take apart and put back his Mac computer. Then he started wondering about how all of the products were made. He and my cousin, Jean-Michele (she directs the monologues he performs), traveled to China during 2010 and part of their trip was researching for his show, The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. That is when he discovered the conditions of the workers who were creating the products he loves so much.

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