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Apple To Help Foxconn Improve Factories 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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  • Apple cares (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chend ( 2636463 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:33PM (#39957767)
    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.

    On top of that this is also interesting view to changes in worlds politics. We haven't had such industrial revolution since the US started growing. 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. 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.

    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.
  • Cynical (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Crasoose ( 1621969 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:37PM (#39957827)
    I hope its just me being the cynical bastard I am but why do I have the funny feeling this money won't go towards improving conditions? I hope "splitting initial costs" means apple will be expecting some inkwork before they give over some money.
  • by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <> on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:46PM (#39957919) Homepage

    Let me see if I have this straight... Apple and Foxconn are working to improve worker conditions - when they and their "independent audit" claim that worker conditions aren't bad in the first place, and the article that ignited the firestorm was discovered to be fiction?


  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:04PM (#39958119) Homepage

    Here's what's going on, in a nutshell:
    1. The conditions at Foxconn are dangerous, cruel, and completely unacceptable to Western sensibilities.
    2. The conditions at Foxconn are completely legal, better than other plants, and probably considered ethical by Chinese standards.

    In other words, this whole brouhaha says more about outsourcing manufacturing to China in general than anything about Apple or Foxconn specifically. Basically, if Americans and Europeans really thought about who was getting killed and maimed and exploited in order to supply their cheap stuff, they'd never accept it, but because it's far away and not talked about they're effectively putting it out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:30PM (#39958397)

    Twat. Apple have made billions from near slave and child labor. Now they're spending 0.01% of that to improve their image. How about not exploiting foreign poverty and having factories on home turf?

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