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China IOS Iphone Apple

Apple To Help Foxconn Improve Factories 166 166

An anonymous reader writes "In a welcome move, Apple has agreed to help share initial costs with Foxconn in improving the factories being used to manufacture iDevices. From the article: 'Foxconn chief Terry Gou did not give a figure for the costs, but the group has been spending heavily to fight a perception its vast plants in China are sweatshops with poor conditions for its million-strong labor force. It regards the criticism as unfair. "We've discovered that this (improving factory conditions) is not a cost. It is a competitive strength," Gou told reporters on Thursday after the ground-breaking ceremony for a new China headquarters in Shanghai. "I believe Apple sees this as a competitive strength along with us, and so we will split the initial costs."'"
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Apple To Help Foxconn Improve Factories

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  • by danaris (525051) <danaris&mac,com> on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:35PM (#39957807) Homepage

    I think this is great move by Apple. It also shows that they care about other things than profit, unlike *ahem* certain privacy violating company Mountain View that just decided to pack their packs and leave after they couldn't compete with Baidu.

    Indeed, this is not a big surprise to me, but it is definitely welcome news.

    I just wonder what the Apple haters are going to say to justify their mindless frothing that Apple would never do such a thing, because they're only interested in profit...

    Dan Aris

  • Won't matter (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bonch (38532) * on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:38PM (#39957835)

    Despite being the most proactive when it comes to labor abuses, Apple will remain the primary target of critics who use Foxconn as a means to attack the company for personal reasons, even though Foxconn is not an Apple subsidiary and makes electronics for practically every major vendor in the industry, from Dell to Sony to Google. However, these other companies will receive no scrutiny.

  • Re:Cynical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shoten (260439) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:44PM (#39957895)

    Actually, it will...because the truth is that Foxconn is not at all bad when you look at working conditions in China across the board. So, if Apple publicly does this and makes Foxconn a great place to work, they can then turn this whole perception around by highlighting what it's like for the workers who make HTC/Samsung/Motorola/etc devices.

  • Re:Apple cares (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:46PM (#39957923)

    Do honestly think Apple would be doing this if they didn't think it would increase their profit margin in the medium to long term at least?

    So what? If people's lives are improved, does it really matter what motivations are behind it? If this increases Apple's profit, that is a good thing, because it will set a good example for other corporations.

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:59PM (#39958073)

    Fox to help hens improve hen house. Farmers think everything will turn out just swell.

    Consumers worried safer hens will result in higher egg prices.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <{eldavojohn} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:02PM (#39958103) Journal
    Okay, you don't seem to be a troll so let me help you out.

    I think this is great move by Apple.

    I think we can all agree on this.

    It also shows that they care about other things than profit ...

    Well, that depends, doesn't it? I think this became an issue when "reporters" made it an issue and Apple surmised that it might affect their bottom line. Never mind that everyone else is likely just as guilty as Apple, they're the biggest target so it's up to them to make the first move. In the end, they're probably doing this so it doesn't cost them sales from the hippies.

    ... unlike *ahem* certain privacy violating company Mountain View that just decided to pack their packs and leave after they couldn't compete with Baidu.

    There's so much wrong with this statement I don't even know where to start. Google has some privacy violations here in the United States but they're pretty mild compared to what the Chinese government does to its citizens and dissidents. By the way, that's why Google left (really was forced to leave) China as they refused to adjust their search results to comply with the Socialist party's orders in China. They were actually trying to stand up for the citizens and left in protest.

    We haven't had such industrial revolution since the US started growing.

    I guess I don't know what you mean by "the US started growing" but there are other nations, like Japan's Meji Restoration that were considered amazing industrial revolutions [wikipedia.org]. History is peppered with nations each taking great strides to push themselves forward -- although they are not always pure of motive. Maybe you should check out the section on child labor [wikipedia.org].

    It also shows that the hybrid socialist-capitalism system that China (and somewhat Europe too) has is a great strength compared to the US hard stance on pure capitalism.

    I hate to break it to you but almost every nation runs on a hybrid socialist-capitalist system. Even the United States. We may have started closer to the Capitalist side but we're making "progress" to meet China halfway as they approach from the other side. I'm not even going to open that can of worms in this discussion but if you're interested you should check out pollution control laws in the United States versus China (Hint: China is very pure capitalism compared to the US on that one).

    Having spent time the China and other places in Asia I must also say that the people are much nicer and reasonable. It is often impossible to deal with Americans, but Asian people still enjoy good old talk, socializing and being together. Also the cheer amount of their population and business culture, with a still relaxed life helps them.

    Forgive me if I am mistaken but this feels suspiciously similar to the Chinese water army [slashdot.org] that is paid to frequent forums in support of something. Provide something measurable and we'll talk. Even a concrete anecdote about your vast experiences that give you credence to speak on behalf of all Americans. I can tell you right now that people in Minnesota are quite nicer than people in New Jersey. I'm sure China has the same dynamics.

    I am more than interested to see this change in politics, and as I am already living in Asia (I moved here from Europe), stuff is about to get great soon.

    You should read "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck, the Chinese people have never had it better! You say stuff is about to get get great soon and I think you're enjoying a Golden Age! I would, however, be interested to learn what European country you left that is in such a worse state than China.

  • by The Dancing Panda (1321121) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:05PM (#39958139)
    And make iPads cost ~$10,000 a piece? Get real. Until the process can be completely mechanized, there will be no plant in the US. The US Manufacturing industry is gone. We need to embrace that fact and move forward.
  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:09PM (#39958173)

    Indeed, this is not a big surprise to me, but it is definitely welcome news.

    I just wonder what the Apple haters are going to say to justify their mindless frothing that Apple would never do such a thing, because they're only interested in profit...

    Dan Aris

    Apple wouldn't be doing this if they didn't think the (relatively trivial) added costs were worth the significant PR boost that it produces. Apple's success is, after all, largely predicated on their excellent marketing and consumer image, and the idea that their product was assembled with the blood of the workers (almost literally) doesn't exactly help that.

    Either way, it's a good thing and Apple and Foxconn should be congratulated for taking this step, provided they actually follow through, and don't stop as soon as media attention disappears. I very much doubt either Foxconn or Apple would be doing this if it wasn't for the massive media attention they've received recently. Proof, of course, is the fact that they didn't do anything before the suicides hit the news.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@gmaOPENBSDil.com minus bsd> on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:18PM (#39958293)

    Actually, the issue isn't really the labour cost (it would add about $50 per iPad to the cost, according to some), it's more the logistics of the parts that go into assembly, with the exception of a few specialist pieces, that are all made in and around the same place.

    The availability of a large enough workforce is also an issue in the US, despite the high unemployment rate.

  • by scot4875 (542869) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:45PM (#39958573) Homepage

    Yes, some companies care about conditions of the workforce.

    If they gave a fuck about the conditions of the workforce, they'd do their manufacturing in the US. Or some other 1st world country with laws that protect their workers.

    --Jeremy

  • by sydneyfong (410107) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @04:39PM (#39959129) Homepage Journal

    WTF is a 'hater'?

    You are.

    You see this one word and then irrationally jump onto a guy you don't even know and call him a fucking moron. OK maybe you're not an "Apple hater" (though I wouldn't bet any money on this), but you sure are a "Danaris Hater".

    I guess you're a "sydneyfong hater" too, you're very welcome to be one.

    You need to grow up and realize that slashdotters posting here are just another bunch of random people who likes to express their own views (even if it doesn't align with some pet peeve of yours) and do NOT (generally) exploit labor. It's generally not part of etiquette to "criticize" people with words like "fucking moron", but hey, if you want to really act like one by calling people names, that's your choice really.

    PS: How old are you really? I mean I can see why some people around here don't like the business practices of Apple, but to take it _personally_ and attack other people who like their products, it's sounds like you guys have been dumped by a girl who ran away with an Apple fanbois or something, or got beaten up by the school bully for "not-being-cool-enough-to-own-an-iphone" or some stupid shit like that...

May Euell Gibbons eat your only copy of the manual!

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