The wave of suicides at the vast plant near Shenzhen owned by Foxconn, the Taiwan contract manufacturer, where 300,000 workers are employed, raises questions about the sustainability of China’s use of migrant workers from rural areas.
The FT was allowed unusual access inside the Foxconn plant in Longhua, which has in the past been kept out of view of reporters, and Kathrin Hille’s video interviews with Foxconn employees, as well as the company’s spokesman, are fascinating. Read more
As the spate of suicides continues at Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that manufactures electronics for the likes of Apple and Dell, David Pilling examines the darker crevices of China’s factory system.
Many factories treat their employees as fodder, refusing to employ people because they are too short, too ugly, too old – 30 is over-the-hill – or simply come from the “wrong” province. They rush through orders, even if that means workers are not properly trained on machines that can – and sometimes do – slice off a finger. They demand employees work long hours, though most are only too happy to do so because of the overtime pay they receive. They often keep back a month of pay, lest their workers find a boyfriend, or a better job, in another factory.
Apple has done more than any company to promote touch as a way of interacting with devices, but Microsoft showed on Tuesday it could go literally above and beyond the screen in future displays.
In a keynote speech at the Society for Information Display’s SID 2010 annual conference in Seattle, Steve Bathiche, research director in Microsoft’s Applied Sciences group, showed not only the usual futuristic concept video of screens appearing on every surface, but also previewed some working demonstrations of its new technology for the first time. Read more