Monday, August 28, 2006

Revenge of the iPods City

The Mail on Sunday articles 'iPod City' on June 11, 2006 and 'The iPod's Incredible Journey' on June 15, 2006 portrayed an unbelievable chilling working condition where iPods were made in a mainland China company run by Taiwan based Foxconn.

Apply launched an investigation, and subsequently found 'no problem' based on it's suppliers' code of conduct.

On June 15, 2006, a Chinese Business News (CBN) article detailed violations of Chinese labor laws in the Hon Hai Precision Industry's Foxconn plant.

On August 18, 2006, Apple found the plant violated it's code of conduct.

Even though the Taiwan-based Foxconn admitted labor law violations, it went on to take the two Chinese journalists, editor Wong Bao and reporter Wang You, to the court, asking 30 million RMB Yuan. As a procedure of the civil lawsuit filed at the Shenzhen Middle People's Court, Foxconn had the court freeze personal properties of the two journalists.

The whole case was bazaar in the sense that CBN was not the news agency originally broke out the story (which was the British media), nor is it the only Chinese media ran report on the overtime work situation at Foxconn. It was targeted anyway. Even more, Chinese law protected journalist from legal retaliation by only allowing the news agency, not the individual to be sued (article 6 of the Supreme Court's 'Opinion on defamation cases' in 1993), but the journalists was sued as individual anyway in this case.

The Hon Hai Precision ranked 206 in this years Forbes 500. Foxconn has partnership with Apple, Motorola, Nokia, IBM and Sony, etc.

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