p2pnet view P2P:- China’s Foxcomm is the birthplace of components for many iPod and other Apple products.
“Workers building Apple iPods, mostly young women from rural areas of China labouring in, 15-hour shifts, were, housed in dormitories from which outsiders are banned, and regularly pay about half their wages for room and board charges,” said p2pnet last summer, going on, “And in a report, Apple admitted there were indeed, ‘violations to our Code of Conduct’.”
Then, “25 year-old Sun Danyong committed suicide after a fourth-generation iPhone prototype he was responsible for went missing,” says Digital Beat, continuing, “It’s a story, from what tech-industry friends in China tell me, of how Apple’s secretive ways send extreme pressure all the way down the company`s international supply chain.”
In the 2006 scandal, the BBC quoted Apple as describing the Foxconn facility in China, where the women worked, as a ‘campus’.
That was three years ago, but according to Reuters, nothing much has changed.
“The massive manufacturing complex in the South China city of Longhua resembles an industrial fortress”, it says. “To enter the facility, workers swipe security cards at the gate. Guards check the occupants of each vehicle with fingerprint recognition scanners.”
Workers “have little reason to venture outside”, it says. “That reduces the likelihood of leaks, which in turn lessens the risk of incurring the wrath of Apple and its chief executive, Steve Jobs, whose product launches have turned into long-running, tightly controlled media spectacles.”
“Many of Apple’s finished gadgets, from iPods to iPads, are assembled at industrial compounds like the one in Longhua”, says the story, going on:
“And when it comes to guarding Apple’s secrets, Foxconn, a unit of Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry, and other suppliers throughout the region leave little to chance. ‘Security is tight everywhere inside the factories, said a uniformed worker outside the Foxconn factory in Longhua, about an hour from Hong Kong. They use metal detectors and search us. If you have any metal objects on you when you leave, they just call the police, he said.”
The Reuters story goes into chapter and verse on how Apple makes sure security around its products is rigidly controlled and enforced.
A Reuters reporter was tipped by a worker outside the Longhua complex that a nearby Foxconn plant was manufacturing parts for Apple too, it says, going on the correspondent “hopped in a taxi for a visit to the facility in Guanlan, which makes products for a range of companies”.
“As he stood on the public road taking photos of the front gate and security checkpoint, a guard shouted” it says, continuing >>>
The reporter continued snapping photos before jumping into a waiting taxi. The guard blocked the vehicle and ordered the driver to stop, threatening to strip him of his taxi license.
The correspondent got out and insisted he was within his rights as he was on the main road. The guard grabbed his arm. A second guard ran over, and with a crowd of Foxconn workers watching, they tried dragging him into the factory.
The reporter asked to be let go. When that didn’t happen, he jerked himself free and started walking off. The older guard kicked him in the leg, while the second threatened to hit him again if he moved. A few minutes later, a Foxconn security car came along but the reporter refused to board it. He called the police instead.
After the authorities arrived and mediated, the guards apologized and the matter was settled. The reporter left without filing a complaint, though the police gave him the option of doing so.
“You’re free to do what you want,” the policeman explained, “But this is Foxconn and they have a special status here. Please understand.”
But really, it’s nothing new.
Apple is held in religious awe by people who buy its over-priced products, and by the mainstream media who idolise Jobs.
However, it will go to any lengths to guard its secrets, up to and including destroying its own supporters.
Ask Nick Ciarelli, aka Nick dePlume.
The Wall Street Journal called his Think Secret, founded in 1988 when he was only 13, “one of the most influential Web sites” about Apple.
Then Think Secret ran rumors of a new Mac and a new word-processing application.
Apple claimed its reports violated trade secret law and used its cash and legal teams to totally destroy the site.
And it’s just as evil when it comes to promoting products.
“I wonder where Annie Leith is today and what she thinks of her appearance?” – I asked recently, going on:
“Does she believe it was right for Apple and Pepsi to hold her and her friends up to be falsely accused by Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music’s RIAA as criminals in front of hundreds of millions of people in a warped iPod commercial?”
Apple? Rotten through and through.
And the secrecy cited by Reuters and others is really paranoia.
A little while ago I ran an item suggesting if corporations are legally ‘persons’, then Google could safely be labelled a psychopathic personality.
The same can be said for Apple.
Jon Newton – p2pnet