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Foxconn sues Chinese journalists over iPod factory story

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, August 28, 2006
News Categories: iPod

iPod manufacturer Foxconn has sued a reporter and an editor at a Chinese newspaper, claiming that thier article about working conditions at Foxconn’s iPod factory tarnished the company’s reputation. Foxconn is suing Wang You, a reporter for China Business News, and Weng Bao, an editor at the newspaper, for 30 million yuan (US$3.77 million). In addition to the lawsuits, Foxconn has gotten a Chinese court to freeze the personal assets of both men. As first reported by Britain’s Daily Mail, Foxconn has come under fire this year for its poor working and living conditions at its iPod factory. Apple recently completed an audit of the facilities.

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Comments

1

isn’t this typical? A company has has proved to have been abusing the rights of it’s works gets all litigious towards the journalist who broke the story? I love the way no one can accept blame these days?

Posted by Lawrence Mikkelsen in New Zealand on August 28, 2006 at 2:27 PM (PDT)

2

it makes me believe that workers rights were abused if they have gone after the journalists who broke the story.  shame on you foxconn!

Posted by caz on August 28, 2006 at 3:28 PM (PDT)

3

Ahh yes - the wonders of democracy comrades smile - personally I couldn’t give a damn - if these people choose to work for the company then thats there problem, because they are not forced to - China’s employement conditions and regulations are nothing like the old draconian (sic) USSR’s, even if most in the west know and understand about as much about employment regulations in the USSR as could be written on a very small pin.

In China they have the freedom to take their employment wherever they want, but quite simply they know they would be idiots if they did because their earnings in the high tech industry sector is paying for a lifestyle and financial advantages they will not get elsewhere. Likewise the vast majority of the high tech kit which we buy is made through their labour - if you want to moan about nasty dispicable Foxconn taking advantage of and abusing their workforce, a disputable contention in the first place seeing as no two sources of reportage agree on what is or isn’t true, then stop using the high tech gear they make..

Posted by NJO on August 28, 2006 at 4:36 PM (PDT)

4

About freaking time. Too bad their suing the wrong people. What the hell?

Posted by Kristen on August 28, 2006 at 7:19 PM (PDT)

5

Why shame on Foxconn? Apple completed an audit of the facilities and conditions and found them acceptable. Foxconn only has room to sue if the journalists made libelous statements, and would basically have no case if what they reported was indeed facttual.

Posted by cwatson on August 28, 2006 at 8:21 PM (PDT)

6

employee conduct codes are the key issues still at hand.  only after the investigation has the factory now decided to make upcoming changes in improved living and transportation conditions.  foxconn needs to clean up their act.  they aren’t off the hook.  and just because employees aren’t treated like dickensian sweatshop workers doesn’t mean you can be a conscious free consummer when other abuses are still going on.

Posted by caz on August 28, 2006 at 9:14 PM (PDT)

7

So they want the benefits of a democratic legal system without democracy for the people? What a great supplier! Does anyone actually think the employee/employer balance is right in this case?

Posted by drevo_uk in UK on August 29, 2006 at 2:25 AM (PDT)

8

smile LOL IT WORKS smile
anyways that is so rude!
and whats with this spam thing?

Posted by Betty Koyle on August 29, 2006 at 6:17 AM (PDT)

9

First of all, we all need to realize that we cannot impose first world, Western standards on other countries. Secondly, the reporters deserve to be sued because they made statements in their report that are patently false.

The publication alleged that one factory at Longhua employed 200,000 workers, each of whom had to work 15 hours a day for a monthly pay of $50.

Foxconn has a workforce of only about 160,000 employees worldwide, excluding those within its handset-making arm.

I don’t know how you feel, but I feel that those who make reports read by the public need to be held responsible to their claims. Reporting lies to sensationalize and drum up attention is unacceptabe.

Posted by cwatson on August 29, 2006 at 7:23 AM (PDT)

10

“Reporting lies to sensationalize and drum up attention is unacceptabe.”

Could you tell this to the US government please?

Anywho, does anyone in their right mind doubt for a second that any factory in China (be it making ipods or tv’s) is not abusing their workers?

Posted by Chahk on August 29, 2006 at 7:37 AM (PDT)

11

Chack,

This article is not about whether you or anybody else wants to impose your Western culture on other countries, it concerns whether these journalists made libelous statements which deserve suit, which it seems (under the definition), they did.

Posted by cwatson on August 29, 2006 at 7:53 AM (PDT)

12

cwatson: appropriate lawsuit or not, it’s interesting to note that these two journalists weren’t even the ones to break the story to begin with. They appear to be ‘reporters of convenience’, more than anything else, simply because they’re in-country and screwed up several facts as a follow-up to the origianl Daily Mail article. And besides, Foxconn does seem to have a habit of suing reporters that write negative articles about the company, regardless of whether there’s any truth to the stories or not.

Plus, isn’t this in the same country who’s “legal” system just convicted a NYT reporter on reportedly trumped up fraud charges, where the accused wasn’t even allowed to have his own witnesses testify on his behalf? Why should anyone in the west have a reasonable expectation that what Foxconn is doing is any less corruptable than what the Chinese government does on its own? If all these reporters did was show that they’re really bad at math, does that mean all that they reported was “patently false”? For all you know, they could’ve gotten an extra zero in their number (you know, commonly referred to a ‘typo).

Posted by flatline response on August 30, 2006 at 6:37 PM (PDT)

13

When they say everything is legal now and “generally bright,clean ...” do they mean chinese standards or US standards?

Posted by is it child labor? on August 25, 2008 at 2:58 PM (PDT)

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