“Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad”, a new piece on the notorious tech manufacturer Foxconn by David Barboza and Charles Duhigg of the New York Times, was translated into Chinese and published in Caixin, one of the leading news weeklies in China. They’ve compiled and translated a list of the reactions by Chinese readers to the piece, which split along the usually lines of tacit acceptance and finger-pointing.
The story of Apple is just an individual case. There will be endless problems from Pear or Banana … even if you revealed Apple’s inside conduct. We have to solve the fundamental problems, which include labor laws, corporate social responsibility, China’s industrial policies and others. — Huang Xiaoshan
I read this story and I’m saddened. It’s not only Apple that should be blamed, but also the system that tolerates its existence. Made-in-China should not be synonymous with the blood and sacrifice of young lives. — Evita
By the way, construction workers and farmers are also living a harsh life in China, shall we also boycott housing and grains? — Zhou Zhimei
Without Apple, Chinese workers will be worse off. I hope China can some day soon have dozens of its own companies like Apple, who (only) work on high-end research and development and send manufacturing lines to Africa. — Anonymous
Even though Apple should be ethically condemned, the key point is: whether the working conditions inside the factories are supervised by law. This (supervision) is the duty of judicial officers and labor unions. Now everything is driven only by G.D.P., so which government official would dare supervise those companies? They (the governments) have long reduced themselves to the servant of the giant enterprises. — Occasional Think
If people saw what kind of life workers lived before they found a job at Foxconn, they would come to an opposite conclusion of this story: that Apple is such a philanthropist. — Zhengchu1982
If not to buy Apple, what’s the substitute – Samsung? Don’t you know that Samsung’s products are from its OEM factory in Tianjin? Samsung workers’ income and benefits are even worse than those at Foxconn. If not to buy iPad – (do you think) I will buy Android Pad? Have you ever been to the OEM factories for Lenovo and ASUS? Quanta,
Compaq … factories of other companies are all worse than those for Apple. Not to buy iPod – (do you think) I will buy Aigo, Meizu? Do you know that Aigo’s Shenzhen factory will not pay their workers until the 19th of the second month? If you were to quit, fine, I’m sorry, your salary will be withdrawn. Foxconn never dares to do such things. First, their profit margin is higher than peers as they manufacture for Apple. Second, at least those foreign devils will regularly audit factories. Domestic brands will never care if workers live or die. I am not speaking for Foxconn. I am just speaking as an insider of this industry, and telling you some disturbing truth. — Anonymous
However, it’ll take more than a hefty article by the Grey Lady to derail Foxconn’s stock, which rose 4.1 percent in response to the news of Apple’s substantial fourth-quarter performance.
Meanwhile, Brazil must not have gotten the memo about the dehumanizing realities of Foxconn’s production scheme, as the manufacturer was given a series of incentives to make iPads in the world’s 5th-most-populous country:
The Brazilian government has granted Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn Technology Co. Ltd. (2354.TW) a series of fiscal incentives to produce Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPads in the country, the country’s official gazette reported Wednesday.
The tax status granted to Foxconn will mean imports of certain products for manufacturing “portable microcomputers, with no keyboard and with a touch screen, weighing less than 750 grams” will either pay no import tax or will pay a reduced tax, the gazette reported.
Other products covered under the relaxed tax rules include power cables, instruction manuals and other such products, the gazette informed.
Below is a NYT companion video to the article on Foxconn. For the full list of translated comments in response to the written article, click here.