R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China

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8 C. Cassidy, R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China
Christopher M. Cassidy
Renée Gravois
Sam Houston State University
Stanislaus Solomon
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Foxconn Technology Group, a multinational Taiwanese company operating
primarily out of China, was the world’s largest manufacturer and assembler of
electronics during the 2007-2014 timeframe. Responsible for a large volume of
consumer products, it had customers such as Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, Nokia, and
Samsung, and manufactured products such as the Apple iPad and iPhone, Amazon
Kindle, Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. Foxconn’s
success relied on many interlocking practices that included but were not limited to:
speed to market through rapid design, prototyping, and production; extreme cost
control through efficient resource utilization and waste minimization; adherence to
state-of-the-art quality control processes and procedures, and vigorous industrial
security to protect each client company’s intellectual property. During much of the
decade from 2006-2016, Foxconn was accused of employee abuse from a variety
of labor rights groups. The tension between its strict management practices and
criticisms from labor rights groups reached crisis levels after 2010 when 20
Foxconn employees committed suicide by jumping from the tall buildings in
Foxconn’s massive industrial complexes. Are the demands for high organizational
performance and labor rights incompatible, or is there some middle ground that
will provide the benefits of both? This case asks students to consider what Foxconn
and Apple should do to ensure the long term success of both companies.
In 2012, protesters in London, England; Bangalore, India; Washington, DC; San
Francisco, California; Sydney, Australia; and New York City gathered at Apple
stores to deliver petitions to Apple, Inc. that criticized the working conditions at its
Chinese subcontractor, Foxconn Technology Group. The petitions, signed by
250,000 people, were intended to force Apple to better control the way Foxconn
managed its worldwide labor force of 1.4 million (Kolo, 2011; Bonnington, 2012;
Freeman, 2012; Kan, 2012; O’Dell, 2012; Warren, 2012).
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We’re coming together as fans of Apple, who buy their products, to
say, we want an ethical product (Shelby Knox, reported in Saginor,
The protesters’ concerns culminated in 2012, when “150 Chinese workers at
Foxconn threatened to commit suicide by leaping from their factory roof in protest
against their working conditions” (Moore, 2012). This event followed 29 worker
suicides at Foxconn factories in China between 2007 and 2011. Twenty of those
suicides occurred in 2010 alone. An additional 10 suicides occurred from 2012-
2014 (Lin, Lin, and Tseng, 2015). Exhibit 1 contains data on Foxconn suicides
from 2007-2014. Foxconn worker actions, worker suicides, and worker rights
protests outside China attracted the attention of electronics companies and
customers around the world (Qiang, 2012).
The many accusations levied by protestors against Apple and Foxconn might have
been summarized as follows: Foxconn’s factories were a technological version of
sweatshops, and ultimately Apple was responsible for violating the rights of
Foxconn’s workers. These accusations were similar to the accusations by labor
rights groups in the 1980s and 1990s that criticized U.S. companies, Nike in
particular, for using overseas manufacturing subcontractors to produce inexpensive
apparel for the U.S. market (Banjo, 2014).
While the ethical issues were salient because of the public protests and worker
suicides, both Foxconn and Apple also had to consider the implications and
tradeoffs related to their respective company strategies. Meeting the demands of
the protesters might have required changes that would add as much as $800 to the
price of the iPhone or force the companies in the supply chain to accept less profit.
More importantly, Foxconn’s operations provided its customers with market
responsiveness unavailable from other suppliers with its rapid manufacturing
capabilities. Altering its business operations to accommodate protesters might
eliminate the very capability Apple needed, the jobs on which its employees
depended, and consequently the products demanded by customers.
An alternative for Apple might have been to forgo some of its profit. Apple earned
profit of about 58.2% of the sales price on each iPhone. Foxconn earned
significantly less profit per phone at about 1.8% of the sales price (Duhigg, 2012c;
Gustin 2012a; Perlin, 2013).
It was conceivable that meeting the protesters’ demands for higher wages, less
output, and better working conditions might have increased operating costs and
reduced the strategic flexibility needed to compete in the global electronics
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industry. What should Foxconn and Apple executives do in addressing the strategic
and ethical issues related to the production of high-tech electronics?
Economics and Culture in China. China embraced modern capitalism in the mid1970s, with economic reforms intended to give business-oriented entrepreneurs the
opportunity to operate for-profit firms outside of state control. Special Economic
Zones (SEZs) were instituted in which private citizens could own and operate their
own businesses without interference from the government. As these businesses
grew and prospered, the SEZs attracted more businesses. Within each SEZ, the
wages businesses paid employees increased. The differences in wages between
rural Chinese communities and the SEZ incentivized many workers, mostly young
adults, to leave rural areas in search of jobs paying higher wages. On average, the
reforms gradually improved the economic conditions across China by allowing
employees, managers, and owners to accumulate wealth (Coase and Wang, 2013).
Chinese culture had a long history of deeply ingrained loyalty to family and respect
for authority stemming from a collectivist culture. Even when people moved from
smaller rural provinces to larger cities to gain employment, many of them still
supported their families by sending a significant portion of their wages back home.
A small surplus earned in the city was worth a lot to the family back home. While
the financial conditions of rural families improved when young workers relocated
to the cities for work, it was difficult for the young workers. These workers found
the working conditions extremely different from farm or rural work, requiring
significant adjustments. The benefits of higher wages were offset by: the
psychological costs of living in large population centers; the structure, rigor, and
working conditions of factory work in large bureaucratic organizations; the
monotony and long hours of work; the lack of recreational activities and free time;
and the loneliness of being away from family.
The harsh working conditions in large cities and factories is not intended to
glamorize working conditions in rural China, especially work on the farm. Farming
wages were among the lowest in China. Farm workers routinely put in 80-100
hours per week in planting and harvest seasons, far more than in the most grueling
of factories. Chinese labor protections were rarely enforced in rural communities,
especially on family owned farms. It was rare for family farms to pay family
workers anything at all. Additionally, farm work was one of the most physically
challenging and dangerous types of work in the world. Workplace injuries and
deaths were far more numerous in farming than in any other industry. Child farm
workers in China, like adult farm workers in every country, had been known to
work excessive overtime in dangerous situations (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014).
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The workload during the planting and harvesting seasons was the most intense for
farm workers because of the critical need to perform a lot of work in very little
time. During the lull between these seasons, workers put in far fewer hours. These
lulls provided the workers with rest and recovery that offset the intensity of planting
and harvesting. Not only that, farm labor was normally done close to where the
worker’s family lived, so the worker had family and friends for support. In
addition, farming involved many different and varied jobs, which decreased the
monotony of work.
China’s Legal System. Chinese citizens viewed lawsuits as a means to obtain
justice quite differently than citizens in the U.S. In China, lawsuits were required
to start at the local level, before they could be heard by provincial courts, and the
provincial justice system was required to hear cases before cases were referred to
the courts at the national level.
Critics questioned the independence of the Chinese legal system. The economic
interdependence of cities and large firms created the appearance of a conflict of
interest for local governments (Kolo, 2011). Large firms paid a large share of local
taxes. Critics believed that local officials and company managers would attempt to
influence or undermine the local legal system to protect large tax-paying
corporations if sued by employees that were injured or treated unjustly on the job.
To back up their claim, critics pointed at one example of media censorship. The
China Digital Times reported that local government officials in Shenzhen requested
a media blackout on critical and negative news reporting about Foxconn suicides.
Following the government’s request, internet news stories were deleted and print
news stories were limited to those approved by the government (Chan, 2013; Lucas,
Kang, and Li, 2013).
Chinese citizens typically respected and adhered to the decisions made by authority
figures, such as juries, judges, bosses, and CEOs, more than did citizens in the U.S.
Critics implied that this resulted in few employees, or their surviving family
members, who were willing to use the legal system to obtain justice, and the few
who did were much less likely to appeal judgments won by the employer at the
local level. For these reasons, critics claimed that the only way to protect workers
was by aggressively challenging both the Chinese manufacturing companies and
the multinational electronics companies that hired them outside legal channels
(Wang, 2012; Chan, 2013).
Chinese Labor Law. The differences between China and U.S. worker protection
laws were extensive. Similar differences existed between the U.S. and many
nations. Companies operating outside U.S. legal jurisdiction used those differences
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to their advantage. Worker protections were expensive to companies. Companies
that operated outside the U.S. had lower costs or strategic flexibility compared to
their U.S. rivals.
Chinese law permitted a regular work week of 49 hours. Employers were required
to offer workers an uninterrupted 24 hours off in every work week. Hours over 49
but fewer than 60 were treated as overtime and, if used, were to be compensated at
a higher rate. Overtime in excess of 60 hours was to be properly compensated and
voluntary (Greenfield, 2012; Nova and Shapiro, 2013; Ong, 2012).
Chinese law recognized workers aged 16-17 as adults. Children under age 16 had
significant legal work restrictions with no possibility of overtime. Protections for
the youngest workers were in place to limit overtime and prevent them from being
assigned dangerous work. In addition, many multinational companies imposed
additional labor restrictions on their subcontractors in the form of contractual
requirements that were more restrictive than Chinese law (Greenfield, 2012).
The consumer electronics industry produced electronic equipment for individual
use, typically in the home setting (Exhibit 4). These goods included entertainment
devices, communications devices, personal computers, and home office equipment.
These goods were distinguished from commercial and professional grade goods
sold to businesses in that consumer goods were less durable, less capable, and less
Over time, global production trends emphasized manufacturing efficiency in order
to lower costs. Automation, improved design, and relocation of production
facilities to countries or regions with lower costs were primary methods for
achieving efficiency (Deng, 2012). This outsourcing was especially important in
lowing labor costs. In addition, some nations, such as China, improved their
manufacturing capabilities to levels unavailable in the United States or the
European Union.
The consumer electronics industry was a rapidly growing multibillion-dollar
industry. Major companies in the consumer electronics industry included Apple,
Samsung, Hewlett Packard, Sony, Dell, LG Electronics, and Lenovo. These large
electronics companies received their raw materials, intermediate goods, and most
of their final products from a supply chain that included a broad variety of global
subcomponent manufacturers and product assemblers. Exhibit 5 shows the growth
in industry revenues, smartphones sold to end users, and smartphones produced in
China. While smartphones were only a small part of the consumer electronics
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industry, the smartphone data correlated with revenues and illustrated industry
In 2010, Foxconn Technology Group was one of the world’s largest contract
electronics manufacturers, with 1.4 million employees, and produced an estimated
40 percent of all consumer electronics products worldwide (Duhigg and
Bradsherjan, 2012; Chan, Pun, and Selder, 2013). Foxconn was the legal name for
Taiwan based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. Founded in 1974, Hon Hai
established the first Foxconn factory in China’s Shenzhen SEZ in 1988. By 2010,
Foxconn was China’s largest employer and exporter. The Shenzhen facility alone
employed over 300,000 workers. Foxconn provided manufacturing and assembly
to a large number of multinational electronics customers. See Exhibit 6 for a list
of principal Foxconn customers. By 2012, Foxconn had factories in Brazil, the
Czech Republic, China, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Slovakia, and Turkey
(Gale Group, 2016).
Foxconn’s manufacturing practices were efficient and technologicallysophisticated. See Exhibit 7 for excerpts from the Foxconn website which describe
its strategy and business philosophy. Foxconn workers assembled iPads, iPhones,
and MacBook products by hand in the Shenzhen facility. To manufacture a
complete iPhone required 141 hand assembly stations and an iPad required 325
Outsourcing to China. To illustrate Apple’s incentive to outsource manufacturing
to China, Baker (2016) points out that the batteries, displays, speakers,
semiconductor chips, and wire for mass marketed electronics were all produced in
China. These components were no longer produced for the competitive market in
the U.S. because of the high cost of production. While the printed circuit board
assemblies were manufactured in the U.S., it made more sense to assemble the final
products where the other components were manufactured for quality control
Steve Jobs explained why Apple outsourced iPhone production to China at a White
House dinner with Silicon Valley executives. He said, “Those jobs are not coming
back…” to the U.S. He explained that while Chinese workers were less expensive,
labor cost was not the relevant criterion. It was the vast scale of the factories,
flexibility of operations, design skills of foreign engineers, and speed to market that
made companies like Foxconn the cornerstone of Apple’s strategy. A former Apple
executive provided the example of a last minute design change involving the
display on an iPhone. The new screens arrived at the production facility near
midnight, workers were wakened in their dorms for a 12-hour shift, and production
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started within 30 minutes. The plant was producing 10,000 iPhones per day within
96 hours (Duhigg and Bradsherjan, 2012). No U.S. based manufacturer could have
responded this quickly.
Foxconn’s Workforce. To operate factories on this scale required a large welleducated labor force. Jennifer Rigoni, a former Apple manager stated, “[Foxconn]
could hire 3000 people overnight… What U.S. plant could find 3000 people
overnight and convince them to live in dorms?” When it came to highly skilled
engineers, Foxconn estimated it would need 8,700 industrial engineers. Apple
determined it would take nine months to find that many engineers in the U.S.
Foxconn found them in China in 15 days (Duhigg and Bradsherjan, 2012).
Foxconn workers were relatively young, ranging in age from the late teens to the
late 20s. Most of Foxconn’s workers relocated from rural parts of China to the
large industrial cities in order to seek employment at companies like Foxconn. In
2012, Foxconn paid wages that were about 20 percent higher than China’s
minimum wage in the SEZ. Applicants cited the higher wages as one of the
attractions of working for Foxconn. The amount of overtime wages available at
Foxconn made employment there especially attractive. This attraction was
particularly true for job applicants from the poor and economically disadvantaged
parts of China where the wages fell far below the national average. Applicants
believed that a Foxconn job was one way to get manufacturing experience that
might lead to better employment, allowing them to support their families back
home, and/or provide a way to save money for school or vocational training.
Intellectual Property Protection. Foxconn implemented state-of-the-art security
at its manufacturing facilities to protect the intellectual property (IP) of its
customers and to shield its production processes from imitation by rivals. For
instance, without Apple’s explicit permission, Foxconn prohibited outsiders from
observing its plants that produced iPhones and iPads. Entry to facilities was strictly
guarded, authorization to enter was difficult to achieve, and the security practices
prevented all outsiders from directly observing the working conditions (Sethi,
2012). All reports of working conditions reported by outsiders were originally
provided by current and former employees and managers of Foxconn or Apple.
Throughout the 2007-2014 timeframe, Foxconn struggled to grow fast enough to
keep up with growing consumer demand for Apple products. Apple’s power in the
supply chain was substantial. When consumer demand for Apple products
increased, Apple would accelerate Foxconn’s production schedules. To meet
Apple’s revised schedule, Foxconn demanded additional work from its labor force.
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For workers, this might translate into 12-hour, 18-hour, or 24-hour shifts, or
working 10-15 days in a row without a day off.
Foxconn responded to these problems by indicating that consumer demand for
iPhones and iPads was growing faster than it could increase capacity by building
factories and hiring employees. This led to a continuous need for employee
overtime despite expansion of its facilities and continuous hiring to correct the
overtime problem. Critics acknowledged that the practice of overtime itself was
not abusive, provided workers were willing to do the work and were not coerced
into overtime against their will (Satariano, 2012).
Apple demanded constant efficiency improvements from providers like Foxconn.
Apple threatened to switch to another company if any supplier could not annually
improve its business operations. An executive for an Apple supplier stated, “The
only way you make money working with Apple is figuring out how to do things
more efficiently or cheaper…and then they [Apple] will come back next year and
force a 10 percent price cut” (Duhigg and Barbozajan, 2012).
During much of the decade from 2006-2016, Foxconn was accused of employee
abuse by a variety of labor rights groups. Excessive working hours were a common
complaint, with critics highlighting work weeks in excess of 60 hours and work
shifts of 11 to 13 hours (Duhigg and Barbozajan 2012; Facing Finance, 2016). The
strain of standing for long periods of time was one aspect of the concern about
working hours:
At any moment, there were thousands of workers standing on
assembly lines or sitting in backless chairs, crouching next to large
machinery, or jogging between loading bays. Some workers’ legs
swelled so much they waddled. ‘It’s hard to stand all day,’ said Zhao
Sheng, a plant worker (Duhigg and Barbozajan, 2012).
…one of the workers said that he constantly wanted to drop
something on the floor so he could bend down to pick it up while
working. Due to the long hours standing (up to 8 hours), if he had
the chance to lie or squat down on the floor, it would be the most
enjoyable moment during the work day [so] he could get the chance
to rest (Chang and Gadget, 2010).
The monotony of the work was another complaint. Workers performed their jobs
on automated assembly lines, following computerized verbal instructions, and had
little to no human interaction. As one example of a more mundane job, one worker
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who deburred aluminum edges on an iPad processed approximately 3000 units in a
12-hour shift at her station (Nightline, 2012).
Two meal breaks, each lasting an hour, provided employees some rest. Most
employees tended to quickly eat their meals in the company cafeteria and attempt
to nap before their shifts started again. Foxconn executives attributed the nap to a
Chinese post-meal tradition rather than to exhaustion (Nightline, 2012).
Typical employees lived in a shared, same-sex, dormitory room with as many as
seven other people. The company provided cafeterias, coffee shops, internet cafes,
bookstores, educational classes, recreational space, athletic fields and facilities,
swimming pools, and medical care. Wages averaged about $1.78 USD per hour,
exclusive of overtime. Typical meals cost about $0.70 USD. Workers paid rent of
about $17.50 per month for their portion of a dormitory room (Nightline, 2012).
Employee complaints focused on the congested state of the dorm rooms, the lack
of personal space, low wages, excessive overtime, and high prices paid at the
cafeterias, stores, and other facilities provided by Foxconn. It is ironic that
outsiders praised the high quality of employee facilities, while pointing out that
employees were generally too tired to ever use them (Nightline, 2012).
Critics compared Foxconn factories to the factory towns present in the U.S. during
industrialization in the late 1800s and early 1900s:
Foxconn is famous for his [sic] industrial revolution approach to
manufacturing; the workers eat, sleep and live in huge dormitories adjacent
to the factories where they work round-the-clock shifts (Chibber, 2012).
Some of the criticisms of Foxconn were inadvertently brought on by the attitudes
of Foxconn senior management. Terry Gou, Foxconn’s Chief Executive Officer
and founder, was famous for his production-oriented aphorisms, such as:
A harsh environment is a good thing (Mishkin and Pearson, 2013).
Work hard on the job today or work hard to find a job tomorrow (Duhigg and
Barbozajan, 2012).
Hungry people have especially clear minds (Lucas, Kang, and Li, 2013).
Work itself is a type of joy (Lucas, Kang, and Li, 2013).
Labor rights groups used Mr. Gou’s motivational statements to imply that he cared
little for the conditions of Foxconn workers. It should be noted that Apple claimed
it could substantiate only a few of the worker rights abuses claimed by critics
(Times and Democrat, 2010). Sethi (2012) explained that the reason for this
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discrepancy is that the managers of Chinese factories were adept at hiding things
from auditors, revealing only some of the most easily managed violations, in an
attempt to avoid revealing problems that would consume resources or erode profit.
Workers and labor rights groups in the Americas and Europe enjoyed legal systems
that made it both easy and lucrative to sue employers and recover losses related to
wage theft, workplace injury, unfair treatment, and other violations of the laws
intended to protect workers. The western audiences to whom the critics addressed
their comments were not always aware that Chinese culture and law were
significantly different from their own cultures and legal systems. When labor rights
groups claimed that Foxconn violated worker rights, violated worker legal
protections, and generally mistreated employees, the critics seemed to be using
western cultural and legal systems as the standard by which to evaluate the
treatment of Chinese workers.
Security Criticisms. To protect its clients’ IP, Foxconn implemented security
practices to prevent any person from accidently or intentionally gaining access to
unauthorized areas. Described as militaristic and totalitarian by critics, Foxconn’s
security practices had led some critics to argue that “management controls every
aspect of workers’ lives” and “the concept of privacy is even an illusion” (Facing
Finance, 2016). Critics pointed to a situation involving an employee accused of
stealing a prototype iPhone and who subsequently committed suicide, as an
example of excessive security. Other situations involved bullying and assaults by
security on workers who failed to show proper identification or for trivial violations
of workplace rules (Junmei, 2010).
Suicides and Accidents. The tension between Foxconn management practices and
criticisms from labor rights groups reached crisis levels after 2010, when 20
Foxconn employees committed suicide by jumping from the tall buildings in
Foxconn’s massive industrial complexes. Critics blamed the stress and working
conditions at Foxconn for the worker suicides, emphasizing that the combination
of excessive working hours, meager pay, overcrowded dormitories, safety
problems, lack of human interaction on the job, dehumanizing work, and worker
surveillance and containment, led some workers to choose suicide over other
options such as returning home, finding another job, or continued employment.
Foxconn’s management responded to the increase in suicides by installing nets in
an effort to deter suicide jumpers and pressuring workers to sign the anti-suicide
pledge shown in Exhibit 10. Labor rights critics, arguing that management’s harsh
treatment of employees was the cause of the suicides, condemned Foxconn for its
callous treatment of the symptoms while doing nothing substantive to correct the
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problem, which according to them would be to improve conditions for employees
(Perlin, 2013).
The critics also pointed out several major safety issues which they said were
symptomatic of management negligence. In May 2011, an explosion occurred at a
Foxconn iPad factory in Chengdu, China, where four workers were killed, and 18
workers were injured. The explosion resulted from improper ventilation and
removal of metal dust, a problem that should have been detected during the
mandatory daily inspections. In October 2011, another Apple supplier in China,
Wintek, had 137 workers suffer poisoning by the solvent n-Hexane. While Wintek
pressured the affected employees to resign and take a financial settlement, Apple
never publicly acknowledged the incident. In December 2011, another explosion
occurred at a Foxconn iPad factory in Shanghai, China, in which 23 workers were
hospitalized and another 36 suffered minor injuries (Chen, 2012; Perlin, 2013).
At 7.8 suicides per 100,000, China had an annual suicide rate less than the U.S.
average of 12.1, and less than the world average of 16.0 (WHO, 2012). Data from
several studies suggested that the annual rate of Chinese suicides had been dropping
since 1996. Suicide studies found conflicting correlations in the data, with some
developed and developing nations with high suicide rates compared with
comparative nations with much lower rates. While Foxconn critics were quick to
blame suicides on working conditions and management decisions, research could
not establish a correlation between variables measuring quality of life for
employees and the rate of suicides. After analyzing fifty years of suicide data,
researchers drew the single conclusion that the worldwide suicide rate increased 60
percent from 1960 to 2010. See Exhibits 2 and 3 (Suicide.org, 2016; WHO, 2012).
Apple’s Code of Conduct governed the operations of its suppliers by requiring
suppliers to treat workers in a humane way. Requirements mandated an upper limit
on the work week of 60 hours, a six-day work week, regular work breaks, no
underage workers, no involuntary labor, no workplace discrimination, no corporal
punishment, effective workplace safety rules and procedures, as well as overtime
pay for overtime work. In 2007, Apple conducted over 36 audits of suppliers and
found that two-thirds showed serious violations of its Code of Conduct or Chinese
labor law (Duhigg and Barbozajan, 2012)
Despite the Code of Conduct, operating practices frequently overrode the stated
code. A former Apple executive, commenting on how operating constraints would
overshadow labor protections, claimed:
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We’ve known about labor abuses in some factories for four years,
and they are still going on…Suppliers would change everything
tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have a choice…If half of
iPhones were malfunctioning, do you think Apple would let it go on
for four years? (Gustin, 2012b).
Another former Apple executive with first-hand knowledge of supplier operations
said, “Noncompliance is tolerated, as long as the suppliers promise to try harder
next time” (Duhigg and Barbozajan, 2012).
In 2012, Apple invited the ABC News Nightline program host, Bill Weir, and a
film crew to participate in the first-ever independent social audit of Foxconn’s
facility in Shenzhen by the Fair Labor Association (FLA). The FLA was an
independent auditor of overseas manufacturing companies whose purpose was to
detect, document, and solve abusive labor practices (FLA, 2016).
Primarily involved in auditing the garment manufacturing industry, the FLA was
founded by U.S. President Bill Clinton to improve factory working conditions
through cooperation between management and labor. Adversarial labor rights
groups were hostile to the business needs of companies and frequently made
expensive demands that might bankrupt a business. For this reason, businesses
generally avoided dealing with the more adversarial labor rights groups. The key
to FLA’s success was its partnership with both companies and labor, striking a
balance between the needs of both groups. This partnership ensured both an
unbiased audit focused on correcting abusive labor practices while respecting a
company’s need for profit.
FLA certification was one way that companies like Apple could prove they were
enforcing worker treatment policies imposed on subcontractors. The invitation to
Nightline to join the FLA on the audit was a response to growing complaints about
the Apple-Foxconn partnership and the public criticisms of the two companies.
Despite ABC’s strong financial relationship with Apple, Mr. Weir promised an
independent audit (Nightline, 2012; Reisinger, 2012).
The FLA audit was paid for by Apple, involved 3,000 staff hours investigating three
Foxconn factories, and surveyed 35,000 workers. The FLA also inspected two of
Apple’s other suppliers in China: Quanta Computer and Pegatron Corporation.
Upon his arrival, Auret van Heerden, the president of FLA and lead investigator in
the Foxconn audit, was asked about what he’d seen on the first day. He relayed
that the “facilities are first class” and “Foxconn is not really a sweatshop.” While
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the context of his statement and his audience is not known, the statement was
widely quoted in the press and interpreted by critics as a defense and justification
of Foxconn’s supposedly abusive practices. In an attempt to recover the impression
of objectivity, the FLA’s number two official, Jorge Perez-Lopez, made a public
statement the next day that the audit was not about first impressions. “The proof…
will be when the report comes out” (Greenhouse, 2012b).
Social Audit Findings. The FLA published its findings in March of 2012 and
listed a number of violations that centered on two major criticisms of Foxconn’s
Shenzhen facility: 1) management seemed to under-report the number of workplace
accidents and 2) the company seemed to require its employees to perform an
excessive amount of overtime. In some cases, workers were found to have worked
seven days a week without the required 24 hours off. Other irregularities involved
overtime compensation, such as withheld wages and the failure to pay for overtime
work. These problems were consistent with reports by other critics. While workers
made a range of confidential criticisms to suggest that their wages were inadequate,
little evidence was found to corroborate the more extreme accusations of abuse by
critics (Gustin, 2012c).
Among the subtle findings in the published report related to Foxconn’s corporate
culture, Mr. van Heerden stated, “I was very surprised…how tranquil it is compared
with a garment factory… the problems are not the intensity and burnout and
pressure cooker environment you have in a garment factory. It’s more a function
of monotony, of boredom, of alienation…” (Greenhouse, 2012b).
One of the outcomes of the FLA’s social audit was that Foxconn raised wages by
18-25%. Foxconn also agreed to lower the number of working hours to comply
with Chinese law. The combination was expected to reduce working hours without
changing worker compensation. An unintended outcome was concern by
employees that fewer hours at higher wages might actually reduce the total wages,
thereby reducing the amount they could send home.
Criticism of the FLA Social Audit by Labor Rights Groups. Before the social
audit was even complete, a number of competing labor rights groups began to
criticize the FLA for going too easy on Apple and Foxconn. Debby Sze Wan Chan,
of the labor right organization Students and Scholars Against Corporate
Misbehavior (SACOM), repeated workers’ claims that Foxconn made multiple
changes at the last minute, before the FLA arrived, to hide violations. Worker
breaks were increased from one per shift to three per shift (Lowensohn, 2012).
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C. Cassidy, R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China 21
All underage workers, between 16-17 years old, were not assigned
any overtime work and some of them were even sent to other
departments (Ong, 2012).
In its early days, the FLA was criticized by corporate critics, labor unions, and antisweatshop activists “as toothless and too cozy with its corporate members”. Jeff
Ballinger, director of Press for Change, criticized the FLA as “largely a fig leaf”
serving the purposes of the large corporations (Greenhouse, 2012a; FLA, 2013).
Teresa Cheng, of United Students Against Sweatshops, criticized the FLA by
pointing out that the FLA missed several violations detected and corrected by the
companies that hired the FLA to conduct social audits. Scott Nova, of the Workers
Rights Consortium (WRC), criticized the FLA by questioning its independence
from its corporate members: “…we don’t think it’s appropriate for them to call
themselves independent investigators because they’re in part funded by the
companies… The only way…to measure the success of monitoring efforts is
whether things are getting better for workers, and we are not seeing this….”
(Greenhouse, 2012a). Similar criticisms were leveled against Mr. Weir and
Nightline because of their close financial relationship with Apple.
The term sweatshop, as used by labor rights groups, referred to factories
characterized by “poor working conditions, unfair wages, unreasonable hours, child
labor, and a lack of benefits for workers” (dosomething.org, 2016). The U.S.
Department of Commerce defined a sweatshop as a factory that violated two or
more labor laws. The U.S. government’s definition was not clear on whether those
were violations of U.S. Laws or violations of host nation laws, leaving a lot of room
for creative interpretation by critics.
In the 1990s, Nike and other U.S. companies faced criticism for using offshore
subcontractors to manufacture their products. A large, organized, and well-funded
protest movement formed to oppose Nike’s business model, which characterized
offshore subcontractors as sweatshops. Funded largely by U.S. labor unions,
sweatshop critics acted primarily in the interest of organized labor in the U.S.
(Powell and Skarbek, 2004).
Critics of overseas manufacturing factories repeatedly tried to apply the sweatshop
label to Foxconn. While the critics willingly imposed their own normative and
cultural expectations related to work and labor on other nations, many Chinese
workers were seemingly less willing to allow outsiders to dictate cultural norms for
them. The sweatshop label did not stick to Foxconn.
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Following the FLA visit to the Shenzhen facility, Auret van Heerden, president and
CEO of the FLA, restated that the Foxconn facility was not a sweatshop. Despite
this judgement by a neutral outside party, the critics continued to use the sweatshop
label and continued to allege that Foxconn was guilty of managerial misconduct,
malfeasance, lawlessness, and unethical behavior.
A significant number of scholars and global trade supporters stepped forward to
defend the practice of offshore outsourcing to lower the manufacturing costs of
companies as a strategic practice to better serve customers. Foreign manufacturing
companies provided many of the stakeholders in the value chain better options than
those that might have existed in the absence of offshore outsourcing. Employees
earned better wages in safer factories, while attracting foreign investment that
ultimately improved the host nation’s standard of living. Trade supporters based
their arguments on economic theory and empirical evidence that showed the
beneficial impact of trade on the workers in developing nations. As long as workers
had other alternatives, trade supporters argued that employees ought to be allowed
to make their own choices. Trade supporters argued that the supposedly beneficial
practices advocated by U.S. labor rights groups ultimately harmed the intended
beneficiaries more than allowing employers and employees to make their own
choices (DiLorenzo, 2006; Zwolinski, 2012; Bowman, 2015).
On the subject of wages, the defenders of competitive markets argued that
companies and workers should be free to negotiate wage rates based on a variety of
working conditions. For instance, an employer might pay higher wages to workers
to offset undesirable or unsafe working conditions. Another example might include
an employer’s willingness to pay a higher wage to work at night, on weekends, and
on holidays. The defenders argued that as long as companies and employees had
the freedom to enter into and leave agreements, both employers and employees
could make decisions with the greatest net benefit (Mejia-Zaccar, 2013). The
defenders pointed out that millions of Chinese workers chose employment at
Foxconn because that choice gave them greater benefits than the alternatives.
As Apple and Foxconn managers considered the controversies involving the
suicides and accidents, the accusations by the labor rights groups, and the protests
by consumers, the managers needed to determine how best to proceed. What
actions can Foxconn and Apple take to ensure the success of their strategy and the
long-term viability of their respective companies? Should they respond to the
critics’ accusations? How should they treat their workers? Should they make
changes to their human resource management practices? How can they best
manage their companies?
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C. Cassidy, R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China 23
History of Suicides at Foxconn Factories, by Year, from 2007-2014
Year Number of Suicides
2007 2
2008 1
2009 2
2010 20
2011 4
2012 2
2013 4
2014 4
Total 39
Source: (Lin, Lin, and Tseng, 2015)
International Suicide Statistics and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year.
The global suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 population.
On average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world.
1.8% of worldwide deaths are suicides.
Global suicide rates have increased 60% in the past 45 years.
Approximately 30,000 people die of suicide each year in the USA.
Approximately 750,000 people attempt suicide each year in the USA.
How many people die by suicide each year in the U.S.? Approximately 30,000.
Do most people who attempt suicide actually die by suicide? No. It is estimated
that 1 person out of 25 who attempt suicide die by suicide.
Is it true that more people die by suicide than by homicide? Yes. More people die
by suicide than by homicide. (The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
UNODC, report titled Global Study on Homicide 2013 estimated an average
intentional homicide rate in the USA of 6.2 for 2012, and 7.6 in 2004)
What is the number one cause for suicide? Untreated depression.
Source: http://www.suicide.org
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Comparative National Suicide Rates for U.S. and China
Nation Suicide Rate Male Suicide
Suicide Rate
Data Source
and Year
USA 12.1 19.4 5.2 WHO, 2012
China 7.8 7.1 8.7 WHO, 2012
USA 11.0 17.9 4.2 WHO, 2002
China 22.5 20.4 24.7 WHO, 1999
Source: World Health Organization (WHO); World Atlas, 2016
Examples of Consumer Electronics
Communications Computing Home Office
Telephones and cellular
Laptop and desktop computers
GPS receivers
Fax machines
Paper shredders
Radios and stereo equipment
Cameras and camcorders
Video game players
Remote control cars
Musical instruments
DVD players
DVD movies
Sources: Blau, 2016; Wetfeet, 2012
Consumer Electronics Industry, Smartphone Production
Year U.S. Revenue
(USD billions)
Units sold to end
users, worldwide
Units produced
in China
2007 122.32 (1)
2008 335.2 139.29
2009 169.79 320.7 172.38
2010 180.98 351.9 296.65
2011 197.1 356 472 (2) 87.9
2012 206.1 361 680.11 237.2
2013 210.7 344.4 969.72 466.1
2014 218.8 1244.74 723.1
2015 220.9 1423.9 771.4
2016 224.3 832.4
2017 901.2
Source: Statista, 2016 (https://www.statista.com)
Note 1. The first smartphone, the iPhone, was introduced in 2007.
Note 2. In 2011 Q3, 52.5% of all smartphones sold to end users were loaded with the Android
operating system.
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C. Cassidy, R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China 25
Major Customers of Foxconn Prior to 2016:
Acer Inc. (Taiwan)
Amazon.com (United States)
Apple Inc. (United States)
BlackBerry Ltd. (Canada)
Cisco (United States)
Dell (United States)
Google (United States)
Hewlett-Packard (United States)
Huawei (China)
InFocus (United States)
Microsoft (United States)
Motorola Mobility (United States)
Nintendo (Japan)
Nokia (Finland)
Sony (Japan)
Toshiba (Japan)
Vizio (United States)
Xiaomi (China)
Sources: Blau, 2016; Wetfeet, 2012
Excerpts about Foxconn Technology Group (http://www.foxconn.com)
Group Profile
Guided by a belief that the electronics products would be an integral part of
everyday life in every office and in every home, Terry Gou founded Hon Hai
Precision Industry Company Ltd, the anchor company of Hon Hai / Foxconn
Technology Group in 1974 with US$7,500, a devotion in integrating expertise for
mechanical and electrical parts and an uncommon concept to provide the lowest
“total cost” solution to increase the affordability of electronics products for all
Today, Hon Hai / Foxconn Technology Group is the most dependable partner for
joint-design, joint-development, manufacturing, assembly and after-sales services
to global Computer, Communication and Consumer-electronics (“3C”) leaders.
Aided by its legendary green manufacturing execution, uncompromising customer
devotion and its award-winning proprietary business model, eCMMS, Hon Hai has
been the most trusted name in contract manufacturing services (including CEM,
EMS, ODM and CMMS) in the world.
Focusing on fields of nanotechnology, heat transfer, wireless connectivity, material
sciences, and green manufacturing process, besides from cooperating with the
establishment of the research institution for nanotech, new material, and optical
electric, Hon Hai also sets up several research centers and testing laboratories for
mechanism, material, electronics to conduct the services of science research and
technology development worldwide.
Furthermore, Hon Hai’s devotion to develop nanotech, thermal treatment, nano
measure, wireless network, environmental protection, CAD/CAE, optical plating
technique, precision/nano processing, SMT, and network CMOS chips, in terms,
allows Hon Hai to accumulate over 55,000 patents granted worldwide by 2012.
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26 C. Cassidy, R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China
This made Hon Hai a recognized leader of innovation and technical know-how in
rankings such as MIT’s or IPIQ’s patent scorecard.
Aside from hardware related technology research and development investment,
Hon Hai also relentlessly seeks to provide customers ever fuller menu of end-toend services to choose from. Logistic planning and e-supplying system adopted for
the global supply chain management, computer software development and
computer programming, sales channel solutions are just some of the latest
investment and involvement that have continued to gain appreciation from the
worldwide customers.
Hon Hai’s commitment to continual education, investing in its people long term
and localization globally not only leads to the deep collaborating relationships with
leading institutions of higher learning, but also helps to make this Fortune Global
500 group’s global operations including the largest exporter in Greater China and
the second largest exporter in Czech Republic.
Foxconn’s Strategy: Connecting the Dots
Since our company was founded in 1974, Foxconn’s vision has always been to
provide technological products and solutions that bring convenience to people’s
everyday lives.
As a leader in all areas of information processing, Foxconn’s current technology
development framework covers the entire spectrum of “11 screens, 3 networks and
2 clouds”. By this we mean that the end-products and devices Foxconn provides
cover a wide range of 11 screens, ranked from screens that are held at the nearest
to end-users to screens displayed at the furthest, including wearable, smartphone,
tablet, notebook, desktop computing, portable TV, digital whiteboard, digital
signage, electric vehicle, and robot. The network products and solutions we offer
are widely applied in the three realms of Internet, Internet of Things and Smart
Grid. We also enable our customers to tap opportunities that extend beyond cloud
computing to the edges of the network in what is now called “fog computing”.
Collectively, the “11 screens, 3 networks and 2 clouds” represent the
comprehensive portfolio of system solutions that Foxconn offers.
Information processing technology continues to be a cornerstone in Foxconn’s
sustainable business strategy. In addition, to deliver on our strategic business
blueprint, Foxconn is seizing the immense opportunities presented in the new era
to ensure that our company remains at the core of the ICT ecosystem, driving
synergy and opportunities across the industry value-chain, from hardware to
services and other technology solutions. Our business roadmap will guide
Foxconn’s horizontal expansion and integration of key growth sectors, which will
see our company augmenting our existing IIDM-SM (integration-innovationdesign-manufacturing and sales-marketing) base. We are also expanding into
content creation, cloud data management services – such as software, platform and
infrastructure as-a-service – and wireless 4G-LTE and broadband network
transmission services.
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C. Cassidy, R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China 27
Foxconn will continue to invest in the research and development of new products,
technologies and applications. Our company has charted a long-term research
direction in key growth areas across the information technology sector, including
such areas as telecommunications, consumer electronics, robotics and automation,
optoelectronics and precision machinery, among others. We have established agile,
broad-based production capabilities from components, modules, and product
assembly to integrated services. With 5G technology becoming a reality in the near
future, the potential for greater innovation and the development of business
opportunities are limitless.
True to our vision of enhancing people’s lives, Foxconn will endeavor to provide
solutions, products and services, and drive strong synergy within the ICT
ecosystem. That will support our goal of helping people leverage technology
throughout all aspects of their lives. We will continue to combine our expertise in
hardware and software, mapping these against gaps and opportunities across the
technology value-chain, to build a holistic, 360 degree framework for how we serve
our customers and consumers.
At Foxconn, we refer to this as “connecting the dots” for our customers, partners
and consumers.
Competitive Advantages
Hon Hai/Foxconn’s competitive advantages stem from the award-winning eCMMS
business model and an unique Foxconnian culture. By defining herself as a service
company rather than a manufacturing concern, Hon Hai / Foxconn defines company
products as Speed, Quality, Engineering Services, Flexibility and Monetary Cost
Saving. Foxconnians devote to customer’s long term success and pride in our
hardworking culture.
Hon Hai/Foxconn’s revolutionary eCMMS model:
eCMMS stands for e-enabled Components, Modules, Moves and Services.
eCMMS is the vertical integrated one stop shopping business model by integrating
mechanical, electrical and optical capabilities altogether. It covers solutions
ranging from moulding, tooling, mechanical parts, components, modules, system
assembly, design, manufacturing, maintenance, logistics … etc. Through eCMMS
model, Hon Hai / Foxconn’s Shenzhen campus is not only the world’s largest 3C
manufacturing base, but also the shortest supply chain at the same time.
Source: Foxconn Technology Group (http://www.foxconn.com)
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28 C. Cassidy, R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China
Date Event
Jan 2010 137 Workers injured by inhalation of nHexame at Wintek factory
in Eastern China. Wintek is a supplier to Apple.
May 2011 1
st Explosion at a Foxconn iPad factory in Chengdu, China. Four
workers were killed, and 18 injured. Explosion was due to
combustion of aluminum dust due to faulty ventilation.
5 Oct 2011 Death of Steve Jobs. Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple on 24 Aug
2011 and Tim Cook took over as CEO.
Dec 2011 2
nd Explosion at a Foxconn iPad factory in Shanghai, China. 59
workers were injured, of which 23 were hospitalized.
2 Jan 2012 Workers demand more entitlements at Foxconn’s Shenzhen
factory. Stage mass suicide attempt.
19 Jan 2012 New York Times article published criticizing Apple and Foxconn
for abusive working conditions.
Feb 2012 Apple joins the FLA and requests an independent social audit of
9 Feb 2012 Petitions from Change.org and SumOfUs.org with 250,000
signatures delivered to Apple offices around the world protesting
working conditions.
Mar 2012 FLA audit published.
Source: Gustin, 2012b
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C. Cassidy, R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China 29
Critics of Foxconn and Labor Right Groups
Name Description
Fair Labor Association (FLA)
FLA is a collaborative effort of universities, civil society
organizations and socially responsible companies
dedicated to protecting workers’ rights around the world.
Funded by its members, the FLA conducts independent
social audits primarily of companies in manufacturing
industries. The only labor rights organization with
industry support, the FLA works with its client
companies to correct their violations of FLA’s Workplace
Code of Conduct and to ensure compliance with partner
codes of conduct. Criticized by more militant labor rights
groups that have taken an adversarial position with
respect to industry, the FLA is one of the only groups
granted access by companies to interact with their
workers and audit their manufacturing operations. Other
labor right groups rely solely on accounts from workers,
whistle blowers, labor rights advocates, business critics,
and other external sources.
Workers Rights Consortium
The WRC is an independent labor rights monitoring
organization, conducting investigations of working
conditions in factories around the globe. The
membership of the WRC is primarily made up of labor
rights advocates, students, and faculty at colleges and
Change.org is an open source petition generating website
used by special interests to advance their agenda. Some
of the general activities organized through change.org
include creating and distributing petitions,
crowdsourcing, and contacting the media.
SumOfUs is a movement of consumers, workers and
shareholders speaking with one voice to counterbalance
the growing power of large corporations. SumOfUs is a
grassroots advocacy group that sees corporations as the
cause of most social ills and sees government as the
solution to corporate problems in areas related to climate
change, workers’ rights, discrimination, human rights,
animal rights, corruption, and corporate power grab.
Students and Scholars Against
Corporate Misbehavior
SACOM is a Hong Kong based NGO aimed at bringing
concerned students, scholars, labor activists, and
consumers together to monitor corporate behavior and to
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30 C. Cassidy, R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China
http://sacom.hk/ advocate for labor rights. Formed in 2005, SACOM has
been researching labor rights violations in the electronics
industry since 2007.
China Labor Watch (CLW)
CLW views Chinese workers’ rights as inalienable
human rights and is dedicated to workers’ fair share of
economic development under globalization. CLW
increases transparency of supply chains and factory labor
conditions, advocates for rights, and supports the Chinese
labor movement. Founded in 2000, CLW collaborates
with unions, labor organizations, and the media to
conduct in-depth assessments of factories in China that
produce toys, bikes, shoes, furniture, clothing, and
electronics for some of the largest multinational brand
companies. CLW’s New York office creates reports from
these investigations, educates the international
community on supply chain labor issues, and pressures
corporations to improve conditions for workers.
Facing Finance
Facing Finance e.V. is a non-profit organization
headquartered in Berlin that takes a stand against
corporate violations in the areas of environment and
climate change, labor and human rights, corruption, and
any use of weapons that are against international law.
Facing Finance attempts to influence investors to prevent
them from supporting violating companies.
Academic Consortium on
International Trade (ACIT)
ACIT is a group of academic economists and lawyers
who are specialized in international trade policy and
international economic law. ACIT’s purpose is to prepare
and circulate policy statements and papers that deal with
important, current issues of international trade policy.
Material disseminated by ACIT covers a broad range of
perspectives and is generally considered nonpartisan.
iLabor Action Group (formerly “The new generation
migrant workers concern
programme” research team)
Published by the National Metal Workers Union in Seoul
South Korea, iLabor Action Group is a labor advocacy
group. The main webpage is written in Korean.
Press for Change – ACORN
ACORN International is a federation of member-based
community organizations.
The Press for Change campaign works to put an end to
sweatshop practices in the United States and abroad.
Sources: Organizational websites
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C. Cassidy, R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China 31
Foxconn’s Anti Suicide Pledge
Should any injury or death arise for which Foxconn cannot be held accountable
(including suicides and self-mutilation), I hereby agree to hand over the case to the
company’s legal and regulatory procedures. I myself and my family members will
not seek extra compensation above that required by law so that the company’s
reputation would not be ruined and its operations remain stable.
Source: Chan, 2013
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Academic Consortium on International Trade (ACIT), 2016. Organizational
Website, accessed 12 Nov 2016, http://fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/acit/.
Acorn International, 2016. Press for Change Campaign. Accessed 2 Dec 2016.
Baker, Phil, 2014. Why Can’t The U.S. Build Consumer Electronic Products?
San Diego Source, 11 Aug 2014. Accessed 28 Sep 2016.
Banjo, Shelly, 2014. Inside Nike’s Struggle to Balance Cost and Worker Safety
in Bangladesh. The Wall Street Journal, 21 Apr 2014. Accessed 1 Dec 2016.
Blau, Gavin, 2016. Global Consumer Electronics Manufacturing – IBIS World
Industry Report C2525-GL, Jun 2016.
Bonnington, Christina, 2012. Protesters crash Apple stores, demand Apple
‘Manufacture Different’. Wired, 9 Feb 2012. Accessed 12 Jun 2016.
Bowman, Sam, 2015. Sweatshops make poor people better off. Adam Smith
Institute, Jul 29, 2015. Accessed 16 Oct 2016.
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Technology, Work and Employment, 28:(2): 84-99. Accessed 5 Sep 2016.
http://ssrn.com/abstract=2296286 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12007.
Southeast Case Research Journal – Volume 16, Issue 1 – Spring 2019
C. Cassidy, R. Gravois, S. Solomon – Outsourcing to China 33
Chan, Jenny, Ngai Pun and Mark Selden, 2013. The politics of global production:
Apple Foxconn and China’s new working class. New Technology, Work and
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Brutal Foxconn Factory. Business Insider, 19 May 2010. Accessed 26 Nov
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Duhigg, Charles, and Bradsherjan, Keith, 2012a. How the U.S. Lost Out on
iPhone Work. The New York Times, 21 Jan 2012. Accessed 12 Jun 2016.
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Duhigg, Charles, and Barbozajan, David, 2012b. In China, Human Costs Are
Built Into an iPad. The New York Times, 25 Jan 2012. Accessed 12 Jun 2016.
Duhigg, Charles, and Daisy, Mike, 2012c. Apple, Accustomed to Profits and
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Conditions in China. Mashable.com. 9 Feb 2012. Accessed 12 Jun 2016.
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16 Oct 2012. Accessed 8 may 2018.
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Apple, New York Times, 13 Feb 2012, Accessed 12 Nov 2016.
Greenhouse, Steven, 2012b. Early Praise in Inspection at Foxconn Brings Doubt,
New York Times, 16 Feb 2012, Accessed 12 Nov 2016.
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Gustin, Sam, 2012a. Apple Reports Record Sales, Profit on Massive iPhone, iPad
Sales. Time, 24 Jan 2012. Accessed 12 Jun 2016.
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Kan, Michael, 2012. Foxconn builds products for many vendors, but its mud
sticks to Apple. IDG News Service. 24 Oct 2012.
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giant’s labour abuses. Socialistworld.net, 14 May 2011. Accessed 12 Jun
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Lin, Thung-hong, Yi-ling Lin, and Wei-lin Tseng, 2015. Manufacturing Suicide:
The Politics of a World Factory. Chinese Sociological Review, 48(1): 1-32.
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Lowensohn, Josh, 2012. FLA-led Foxconn audit finds violations, fixes promised.
CNET.com, Mar 29, 2012. Accessed 16 Oct 2016.
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Institution: Examining the Experiences of Foxconn’s Migrant Workforce.
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Ong, Josh, 2012. Factory workers claim Foxconn hid underage employees before
FLA inspection. AppleInsider.com, 22 Feb 2012. Accessed 12 Nov 2016.
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