Foxconn Reportedly Making PS4s With Forced Student Labor

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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Foxconn Reportedly Making PS4s With Forced Student Labor


You may want to take some time to think about exactly where your next-gen console is coming from.

Reports are coming in from Chinese gaming media that Foxconn, the massive factory-city responsible for the assembly of consumer electronics from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Apple, are using some very dubious labor practices in the assembly of the upcoming PS4. According to Hong Kong's Oriental Daily, thousands of students from an IT engineering program at the Xi'an Institute of Technology are being forced to work at Foxconn's Yantai plant assembling Sony's upcoming console.

The program lures students in by posing as an "internship" that offers them credits towards their degree, but upon arriving at the factory, the students are often assigned tasks that have no bearing whatsoever on their field of study.

One student, for example, majored in finance and accounting but has been assigned to a job that entails gluing together PS4 components. Another, a computer science major, puts the PS4's various cords and the instruction manual into the console's box. Students are complaining that they are essentially working the exact same hours as regular employees, but because it is an internship, they aren't getting paid.

Foxconn has of course denied these allegations, and the Xi'an Institute dodged questions about the compulsory nature of the internship, stressing that the practice was legal and that it was "mainly about making students learn about society and experience life." It's worth noting that another controversial internship program involving Foxconn and this exact same college [http://www.techinasia.com/foxconn-internship-799/] emerged last year, too.

Just for reference, 10% of Microsoft's Xbox One components are also assembled at the Foxconn plant.

Source: Games in Asia [http://games.qq.com/a/20131009/015913.htm]

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Compatriot Block

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Jan 28, 2009
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Steven Bogos said:
Just for reference, 10% of Microsoft's Xbox One components are also assembled at the Foxconn plant.
I think this line alone will save the internet from about a handful of extra rage. Thank you.

This is pretty grim, especially since it might be "compulsory." I don't know if Xi'an Institute is a big name in China, but this can't help their reputation anywhere.
 

bowandsword

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Mar 30, 2011
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So not child labour just uni students going to a uni where part of their course is to do "work experience" or "internship" in a factory.
so more like 18-20 or even older so exploitative labor (but what isn't in china) but certainly not child labor just a pretty crappy uni.
I really see nothing wrong with this then wow that's unfair to those students they should change uni.
i'm cant be sure if parts will now be better or worse made hard to decide.

edit 1 read title as child labor.
2 two uni college just sub in and out.
 

BoredWalker

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Aug 14, 2012
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There are a million jokes that I could be making right now, none of which are sensitive or appropriate.

I guess I'll just go with, "why the hell would anyone trust a company named 'Foxconn'"?

OT: That must suck. Really, companies need to stop using the term "internship" to mean "free labor for us" instead of its actual meaning.
 

Doom972

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Unfortunately, this is how all mass produced electronics are made. People will continue to ignore it since otherwise it would cost too much.

Desert Punk said:
Psht why should I care about the plight of some chinese brat so long as I can get my entertainment console of choice on the cheap?

/sarcasm obviously before people throw a fit. Really this is kinda a dick move, but so long as they arent being hooked on the company store it shouldnt be too horrible, they could always go intern elsewhere if they want provided I am not misundersting how internships work in China.
If they're all still there, I guess that alternatives are either no-nexistant, just as bad or maybe even worse.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Jul 18, 2009
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Is there any electric device that isn't made by forced Chinese labor though?

They have entire polluted wastelands over there where people recycle cell phones and laptops and whatnot. To the detriment of their own health.

It's the uncomfortable truth behind practically all our entertainment. But what can we do about it?
 

putowtin

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Jul 7, 2010
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Compatriot Block said:
This is pretty grim, especially since it might be "compulsory." I don't know if Xi'an Institute is a big name in China, but this can't help their reputation anywhere.
If it's the same Xi'an Institute I take Postgraduate applications from, then their in the top 100 Chinese Universities
(who's students are the ones that universities in the West snap up like candy!)

OT This sucks, it's hard enough to justify buying a product when you know the people physically making it get paid so little, but students who are being paid nothing... glad I'm not buying one!
 

VladG

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Aug 24, 2010
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So... they are doing something that is only in the loosest way related to their diploma. Yep, sounds like a standard college education all right.


It sucks that they aren't getting paid but... this is only marginally worse than a lot of internships we have around here. And I live in the EU.

Friend of mine had to work 6h a day, the entire summer, in a different fucking city for his internship. With no pay. They did deduct his train tickets though. Which is nice.
 

Clive Howlitzer

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They are being truthful I suppose. The students are indeed learning life lessons about how everyone is out to take advantage of you.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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Sep 8, 2011
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I really try to stay clear from all things assembled at Foxconn, which is why I'll probably never own a smartphone. But is there any piece of technology that isn't assembled there? I remember reading that Apple moved it's production line from Foxconn to another company. Apple of all people. And I dislike them the most.
 

Tanis

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Aug 30, 2010
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Wait...
You're telling me the goods I buy, from 3rd World nations and/or countries with little to no regulation and massive amounts of corruption...
Is abusing their workforce?
 

MrHide-Patten

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Jun 10, 2009
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Reading the headline I pictured 10 year olds, not "kids" majoring in finance. Click bait much, I just assume that any piece of technology is glued together with childs tears.

I would however be lying if I said I cared for the plights of people slightly younger than I am being stiffed at an internship. It's not like they're shackled to the workstations.
 

james.sponge

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Mar 4, 2013
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Adam Jensen said:
I really try to stay clear from all things assembled at Foxconn, which is why I'll probably never own a smartphone. But is there any piece of technology that isn't assembled there? I remember reading that Apple moved it's production line from Foxconn to another company. Apple of all people. And I dislike them the most.
They moved it to a factory that employs toddlers who glue all components together using their tears. Shame on you western civilization...
 

VoidWanderer

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Sep 17, 2011
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You would think, that with a population of 1 billion people that the 'grapevine' would actually be very effective in spreading worthwhile pieces of information... like 'Foxconn are exploiting people (again)
 
Apr 5, 2008
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I don't want these unqualified undergraduates making my consumer electronics; I just don't trust them. What happened to the 8-year old Thai boy who normally makes it? I want him back.
 

hickwarrior

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Nov 7, 2007
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So, how do I know what electronics are manufactured at foxconn then? And how prolific are those guys anyway? Cause I'd like to avoid them where ever possible. Though it probably cannot be done if it's in every gaming device out there...

Plus, millions are sold of them...
 

Terramax

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Jan 11, 2008
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I remember this happening a year or so ago, with MS, Sony and Apple all saying they were making their own inquiries. That was the last I heard about it. We keep hearing these stories, but nobody actually tells us how things got resolved (if they did, or whether they were brushed under the carpet).
 

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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MrHide-Patten said:
Reading the headline I pictured 10 year olds, not "kids" majoring in finance. Click bait much, I just assume that any piece of technology is glued together with childs tears.

I would however be lying if I said I cared for the plights of people slightly younger than I am being stiffed at an internship. It's not like they're shackled to the workstations.
I never said children. I said STUDENT labor.