June 20, 2006
Foxconn denies iPod sweatshop accusations
Apple's promise to investigate "iPod City" allegations wasn't quite the flat-out denial we were expecting for a situation like this, but the accused iPod manufacturer, Foxconn Electronics (aka Hon Hai Precision Industry), was a little more straight forward. Spokesman Edmund Ding stated that there were huge discrepancies between the truth and the claims in the report, and that Foxconn reserves the right to take legal action over the report. A couple notable facts include Ding's claim that Foxconn has a worldwide workforce of about 160,000 -- compared to the 200,000 in one factory claimed by the report. Foxconn's website has also denied them even having a factory in Suzhou, which was mentioned as an "iPod City" in the accusatory article. Ding was also careful to mention that Foxconn abides by the employment law of China for minimum wage, and has been actively making improvements to workers' living conditions with the addition of free laundry service, sports facilities, libraries and other facilities. We're sure we haven't heard the last of the plight of iPod workers, but at least according to their employer it doesn't really sound too terrible.