This one already has 319 comments online and has been reblogged 8 bajillion times (estimate), despite the fact that the print version is just now being tossed onto doorsteps on the East Coast. Nonetheless, a must-link-to. Three cheers for old-school investigative journalism (and for Page A1, to boot, not even the Magazine)!
Undercover Chinese Reporter Works in iPhone 5 Factory, Exhausts Himself
A reporter for the Shanghai Evening Post recently went undercover to a Foxconn factory, got a white coat, a room in the dorms, and a job placing oil marks on the back-plates of the new iPhone 5, which should be announced today. His conclusion: abysmal. Not the iPhone 5, but the conditions.
Foxconn has had controversies in the past — there was a suicide protest early this year, a factory explosion in 2011, and several suicides in years past, all related to the working conditions, poor food and dirty living quarters workers are often pushed into.
This story highlights the low quality of everything at Foxconn, except for perhaps the products they’re making.
via a translation by micgadget:
An iPhone 5 back-plate run through in front of me almost every 3 seconds. I have to pickup the back-plate and marked 4 position points using the oil-based paint pen and put it back on the running belt swiftly within 3 seconds with no errors. After such repeat action for several hours, I have terrible neckache and muscle pain on my arm. A new worker who sat opposite of me gone exhausted and laid down for a short while. The supervisor has noticed him and punished him by asking him to stand at one corner for 10 minutes like the old school days. We worked non-stop from midnight to the next morning 6 a.m but were still asked to keep on working as the production line is based on running belt and no one is allowed to stop. I’m so starving and fully exhausted.
The article notes that it cannot verify the honesty of its reporter, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
H/T: The Atlantic Wire
Conan O’Brien, in tonight’s monologue. I hadn’t heard about this, but given the popularity of the show here, can’t say it’s a surprise. (There’s even a coffee shop in Shanghai called (wait for it…) Central Perk that’s basically an exact replica of the one from the show. Chinese knockoff-as-sincere-flattery at its finest.)
Apparently the Chinese version of the show is called Planet Homebuddies (lost in translation or intentional pun-in-translation?). Here’s a picture of the Chinese Ross, Rachel, et al.