Investigation finds children as young as 14 working at Foxconn

foxconn workers apple iphone ipad macMore controversy has hit Foxconn this week, as workers under the age of 16 have been found working in one of its factories, breaking not only Chinese labor laws, but also Foxconn’s own regulations.

Rather than the news being broken through a series of leaks or by an undercover expose, the scandal was confirmed through an internal investigation carried out by the Hon Tai Precision Industry, Foxconn’s parent company. This wasn’t solely done out of the goodness of its heart though, but after Chinese media and the China Labor Watch group accused the company of employing underage workers.

A group of interns aged between 14 and 16 were found to be working at the Foxconn factory in the Yantai province, and had been there for around three weeks. Recently, Foxconn had appealed for extra workers in the area, after it found itself needing 19,000 extra personnel to cover a staff shortage.

Although the report doesn’t state how many underage workers were found in the plant, says that Foxconn has sent 56 interns back to their schools. A statement from the company says it takes “full responsibility for these violations” and it has “apologized to each of the students for [its] role in this action.

A statement from China Labor Watch says schools are as much to blame as Foxconn, as that’s who sent the underage interns to the company in the first place. Foxconn however, did not check the IDs of these young interns, or failed to recognize fakes.

Interns, conditions and child labor at Foxconn

Foxconn’s interns are essentially trainees, who must complete a one to three-month course before becoming fully fledged employees, which includes instruction on the company’s ethos and expectations, plus 10-hours work a day on the production line. The report says interns usually earn less than 2,000 yuan per month, which is around $320.

This isn’t the first time Foxconn has been found to employ underage workers, as Apple discovered 91 children below the age of 16 working there during an audit in 2010. Apple stopped working with the factory that employed almost 50-percent of those workers, and according to its Supplier Responsibility code of conduct, hasn’t found evidence of underage workers since. says the Yantai plant doesn’t produce Apple hardware, and a source speaking to says the workers were assembling gamepads for the Nintendo Wii. As a company, Foxconn builds products for Dell, Sony, Intel, Acer and many others.

The discovery of more children working at Foxconn is another in a string of scandals to hit the company in the last few weeks alone, following on from reports of strikes due to intolerable living conditions, riots and earlier in the year, suicide threats too. Despite this, a report by the Fair Labor Association says conditions at some of Foxconn’s factories are improving.


Think iPhones can’t get viruses? Our expert explains why it could happen

If your iPhone has been acting strangely, then you may be concerned about the possibility it is infected with a virus or some malware. We take a look at just how likely that is and explain why iOS is considered relatively safe.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.

Spring is here, and Apple’s beautiful new Watch bands will help you celebrate

Apple knows that seasons matter in the fashion world, and has refreshed its most popular Apple Watch bands to celebrate the arrival of spring. See them all, including our new favorite teal versions, here.

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.

Get your hands (and ears) on Apple’s new AirPods — here’s where to find them

Apple's new AirPods with wireless charging are the latest version of the much-loved wireless earbuds. Unfortunately, they aren't widely available yet. Here's where you can find them right now, and where they will show up soon.

Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat may be coming soon

At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods might be new and improved, but they aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, with attractive features. These are the best AirPod alternatives on the market today.

If you have $5,200, Apple has 256GB of RAM for your iMac Pro

Professionals looking to run intensive applications will be able to push their work a bit further with Apple's latest iMac Pro, which holds 256GB of DD4 ECC RAM for $5,200. Here's why it costs so much to upgrade your iMac Pro to the top.

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for March 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

Apple iPad Air vs. iPad (2018): Which Apple tablet is right for you?

The new iPad Air replaces the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it doesn't pack quite the same punch. It is a fair bit cheaper, starting at $500, but it's a lot more expensive than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad which starts at $330. If you're shopping for…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger adds quoted replies to better organize group chats

Facebook is rolling out a feature that should help make group chats a whole lot more organized. The feature allows you to reply to specific messages within a group chat, so others will be able to tell what you're replying to.

The 2018 iPad is often the best iPad for most people — and now it’s only $250

Apple may have recently taken the wraps off of a new iPad Air and iPad Mini, but it's still the standard iPad that is best for most people. Now, the standard iPad has gotten a pretty significant discount -- it's down from $330 to $250.