Published: Wed, November 22, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

In China, students were forced to produce iPhone X

In China, students were forced to produce iPhone X

The students that spoke out were part of a group of 3,000 from the Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School. "In two factories, we discovered many workers under the age of 18 working the same long hours under the same conditions as adult workers", the report continued.

The new iPhone X is displayed during an Apple special event in September.

All of the work conducted was voluntary, "and compensated appropriately", Foxconn said. At this facility, student intern programs are short term and account for a very small percentage of the workforce.

However, they denied that the students who were working overtime were being forced to do so. "A team of specialists are on site at the facility working with the management on systems to ensure the appropriate standards are adhered to".

Apple said in its statement to Quartz that it "is dedicated to ensuring everyone in our supply chain is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve". What we will not do - and never have done - is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain.

Six high-schoolers told FT that they are regularly working 11-hour days at a factory in Zhengzhou, China, constructing the iPhone X. The time parameters exceed China's legally mandated amount student interns are permitted to work.

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In China, student labor is allowed, however it must be limited to 40 hours a week, and students must be paid or compensated with benefits, and their placements must be voluntary.

Foxconn worked with local governments and vocational institutions to organize the internship program. Representatives of the school still has not commented on the situation.

One student claimed to have made 1,200 camera modules a day, an assignment she said had nothing to do with her studies. "The issue remains unresolved as the company has production targets to meet".

In its 2013 report, China Labor Watch found conditions in factories run by Pegatron, another major Apple supplier, similar to those uncovered by the Financial Times.

It's usual for Foxconn to take on temporary workers in peak iPhone season, including students, but the FT reports that more seasonal workers than usual were recruited as Foxconn tried to make up for lost time on iPhone X production.

According to CNET, an Apple spokesperson conceded the students should not have been working late.

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