Foxconn Chairman Likens Employees To Animals, Solicits Advice From Zoo Keeper

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Supermonkey

FuNNy....

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germanogre

"Imagine if their system was like ours? Paying better wages and conditions, what would that do the world economy and resources? Resources are already being strained and if China's overall quality was better, i think it would lead to bigger issues."

What would that do to the world economy? It might actually BRING SOME JOBS BACK TO THE U.S.!! (yelling at stingy corporations, not you tony2tonez). Both of my parents have been unemployed for more than a year now, and, being 50+, have little hope of finding a job with decent wages.

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tony2tonez

Just like Chinese keep their Yuan artificially priced. they treat their people the same way. We will only bring back US jobs, when the US gov't sets a direct clear path with a ways and means to do so. And when Chinese people rise up to demand better wages, to the point that US companies realize it cheaper to produce here in US then China, will the balance of trade swing. Or people show with spending habits of buying made in USA, only then will the big companies notice.

There was a article i think it was in Wired magazines, a few months back about how small US companies are starting to manufacturer things back in the US because of product quality and how they are able to receive it quicker then waiting for a boat. But these small companies don't employ many or have big orders like the Blue Chip companies do, so it wont make that much of a impact, yet. But there is a public conscience growing tired of china crap and looking for alternatives.

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std error

I am not arguing with the point for your last paragraph, but I think there is too much focus on "manufacturing" or more accurately "assembly" jobs. There are so many tasks that go into manufacturing, why is assembly so special?

Besides what is a manufacturing job? To illustrate the point I am trying to make with my last question let me paste part of an article from Slate:

"...if I build a factory where people take fresh peas and put them in cans that's a "manufacturing" facility full of manufacturing jobs and people who "make things." But if I build a facility where people take fresh peas, mix them with some basil and a touch of mint, plus olive oil, parmigiano reggiano, and pine nuts then purée them to serve you a delicious pea pesto that's a lowly service sector employment cite that couldn't possibly generate good jobs. Similarly if I make pasta then dry it and stick it in boxes, I'm manufacturing. If I make fresh pasta and serve it to you on a plate with my pea pesto that's services. The difference between manufacturing and services is not an ontological void between making things and not making things. It's really a gap between putting things in boxes and not putting them in boxes. Like if you build a bookshelf and ship to a store and I buy it, that's manufacturing. If I hire you to come to my house and install custom built-in shelves, that's services."

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tony2tonez

double post

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Gezzer

I have a real hard time giving any China based business a break. As well I find it a bit baffling that anyone here would.
The Walmarting of the western world has been going on for years because of our unrealistic need to pay the lowest price possible. Those prices are low because Chinese business's view not just their workers as sub human but their target consumers as well. That's the reason why Terry Gou could be so dismissive of his work force.
Anyone remember the lead paint, or tainted milk incidences? That happened as much because we don't want to know how our products can be so cheap as it happened because of a lack of ethics in Chinese business's. It's also another reason why I won't join the iCult.
Sure you can say that all industrialized countries have a prior history of worker abuse. You can also say that about slavery, doesn't make it acceptable either way.
The really sad part about Walmarting is that a lower sticker doesn't always mean better value, it means more disposable products. I have more products from China break, often just past the warranty period, then from any other manufacturing country. But it was cheap so just throw it away and buy another. Kind of like how they treat their workers.
What's even sadder is the fact that this model has become the accepted norm. How can a business be competitive if they don't do the same? So it's become harder to vote with your dollars.
So the Foxconn worker's blood isn't just on Apple's and Microsoft's hands. We have some on ours as well.

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dgrmouse

"The Walmarting of the western world has been going on for years because of our unrealistic need to pay the lowest price possible..."

You're wrong. People have wanted to get the best return on their trades since the invention of bartering.

You're also wrong to assume that the Chinese workers in the Foxconn plant would be doing any better if we paid twice as much for our electronics. Apple is fabulously wealthy, and I suspect the same is true for Foxconn. Regardless of how much money Apple makes, the guy mopping the floors is always going to be poor while the top 1% will continue to get richer.

Today's Post-Fordist capitalism targets niche markets with highly focused marketing and attempts to extract the maximum possible money with the minimum possible product. As an example, NVidia sells one card across about four different price tiers: they simply bin and laser off functional units in order to artificially cripple their cheaper parts. I understand that not every chip rolls off the line perfectly, but this isn't about that. This is about the fact that it's cheaper to hobble their higher-end cards and sell them than it is to retool for a different product line. That you have the gumption to report here that my unwillingness to pay top dollar for a card that, when hobbled, can still sell for a profit at a quarter of the price, is only an indication that you have fallen prey to the focused marketing machines.

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Gezzer

Sorry, but you really didn't understand what I meant. First off I didn't mean to offend in any manner.
What I meant by the term "unrealistic need to pay the lowest price possible" was first off a general statement, of course not everyone is like that, but enough are to have a power over the market place.
Off the top of your head how many electronic companies have plants in the so called western hemisphere? How does that compare to the eastern hemisphere? And the big question is why?
Plus it's not just in electronics but in all products.
I have a little story to illustrate my point.
Some 25 years ago I worked for footlocker. We had a young man come in who was looking at a Converse low cut shoe. I asked if I could help him to which he pulled out a beaten up pair of the exact same shoe. He told me how his mom bought them at the Eaton's in the very same mall for 5 dollars less then we sold ours for, and he wanted the Converse mailing address so he could complain because he got less then 3 months out of them and Eaton's could care less. Well our DM was in the store and he told me "if he has a receipt from Eaton's we would give him a new pair", which we did.
We only asked that if the shoes worked out please tell us. Well they lasted all most a year compared to the Eaton's shoes and he was very happy.
The kicker was the shoes look identical except for one thing. Ours were made in the Philippines, Eaton's in China. Which brought something else into focus for me. Every Asian that came in the store would only buy shoes not made in the far east. They would spend a lot of time looking at the labels and didn't care about anything other then where they were made, and in retrospect, they were right. Ever shoe I've had that was built in China fell apart quicker. But most people don't care because they saved 5 bucks. BTW Eaton's was/is a high scale department store, so I bet they actually had a higher profit margin then we had.
And that's what I meant. As consumers most of us ask what's the price before anything else. Then often when we think we've got the best deal and good value for money spent we haven't because the company has found ways to minimise their overhead and are actually laughing all the way to the bank. To put it into a electronic frame. Anyone remember all the blown caps a number of years back. Why'd it happen?
I rest my case. If I could I'd buy only products made in the western countries, support my own country and economy, but I can't. Why? Because it's much harder for any western company to compete against the low prices eastern goods bring to the equation so many don't. And we're the poorer for it IMHO.

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std error

What you are saying is that consumers should factor in quality and longevity into their buying decisions and not just price. What does where it is produced have anything to do with that? There are examples of low quality and high quality goods from every country. The land underneath their feet factors little into quality.

If you take your "buy Western only" sentiment further and simply buy everything from yourself. I mean you don't want to give money to the Chinese, why should you give money to a Texan or Californian, or your neighbor right? Keep the money at home with you, and produce everything for yourself. Do you think you will be richer? Will you be able to produce food and a TV and TV shows to fill that TV?

There is a reason why in wars countries use naval blockades against their enemies to prevent goods from passing; it is not to make their enemies richer.

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Gezzer

Yes they should.
As for where it's made, like I said the eastern hemisphere seems to most often put price before anything else, and it's my opinion that it's because their biggest customers (western hemisphere) seem to have price as it's biggest concern.
As for every country having both high end and low end, and your question about how important is the land where the products come from.
You remember right? This is China we're talking about right? Not some fictitious country, but one with a record that is easily examined.
What proportion of the China export market is high end? Remember this is the country vilified for producing the most knock offs of any country, period.
How many times has China been singled out for it's poor human rights policies? With that in mind how many workers rights do you think are trampled on in China? How much high end fashion was made in Chinese "sweat shops"? And what was our reaction when the general public found out? I'd say pretty much what it's been to the on going Foxconn saga.

I'm not suggesting we buy goods only made by in the western hemisphere, but if we make quality and worker welfare more important I think we would. At least till the eastern hemisphere realized that, and then changed to meet our expectations.
I'll give you another example if I may.
Ever heard of Tyan?
They made the best motherboards bar none. I've had 2 myself, and they were rock solid, with no compatibility problems ever. They were based in the US (btw I'm Canadian) and everything was done in the US. Now you did pay a premium for this, the boards were 25-50% higher in price, but worth it. Well quite a number of years ago they stopped making consumer MBs and now only make high end server boards. Why? Well I can't say for certain, but I think nobody was willing to pay their prices for consumer products. I just checked to see if they were even still around, and guess what? They no longer have a plant in the US. They design and engineer them in the US but they've moved their factory. Want to guess where to? China of course.
Why doesn't that concern you? How many more jobs do you guys need to lose before you understand you've sold yourselves down the river to save a buck?
Even Henry Ford understood that you have to support the market in your home country. He was known as a harsh task master, who expected a lot for what he paid. But he paid well, why? He said there's no way I can sell a product that my own employees can't afford to buy.
Do you still think that's the operating maxim now?

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std error

It doesn't concern me at all. Think of the world as one economy rather than separately thinking of each state as its own. All that is happening is that work is being allocated to those who can produce the most of it and the lowest price, that way people who can produce more don't have to waste their time doing low-value work. It is the same reason a dentist hires a hygenist to do cleanings. It is so his valuable time is used for more high value work, like extractions, rather than brushing someones teeth.

Do you really think there will come a day where all 300 million Americans will be unemployed and we will sit on the streets homeless twiddling our thumbs? The reason I can spend 8 hours a day working for SAS developing code is because I don't have to worry about knitting my own shirt. A factory worker in China has done that for me and I can simply buy a shirt using my earnings, and then some. That factory worker in turn doesn't have to worry about producing his own food in his own farm because he can buy food using his earnings, and then some.

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warptek2010

Jeez, I dunno Gezz... let me ask a real simple question instead of writing an introduction to a book... you think a family of 4 with one bread winner making less than 42K can afford to buy 16 ounces of dish liquid at 4.59 for the American made 'brand' or you think he'll go for the same size at 1/2 the price for the Asian no-brand?

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Ghok

This is an overly simplified completely hypothetical situation. It is based on the idea that if something is made domestically, it has to cost more. It doesn't really have any relevance to what Gezz was saying, either. These are complicated issues, which is perhaps why Gezz and others are writing long posts on the matter.

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warptek2010

Complicated issues? Listen, this involves nothing more than human nature and economic self interest. That is what drives the individual and motivates the society as a whole. It is that simple when looking at the big picture.

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dgrmouse

Wow. Great points, STD Error. The blockade example is genius.

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Ulrich

lets see... pushing massive amounts of people to suicide, working people 24/7 at a breakneck pace for little to no wage, unregulated heavy pollution which in turn poisons the population of china. no one cares as long as they can by iWhatever for a couple hundred dollars. The saddest part of this is that those "people" feel that killing themselves might send an S.O.S. out to the world that will possibly save their family children, friends from the horror that their life has been. Not knowing that all the world will ask is "will that delay the iWhatever"

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dgrmouse

*News Flash*

Things are pretty bad in the US, too, and it has nothing to do with the cost of an iPad.

Ever hear of slavery? I'm pretty sure it existed before modern demand for electronics. Think about it and get back to me.

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biggiebob12345

I'm fairly certain that given the amount of employees they have, the suicide rate is actually below the average % for the US.

Personally I could give a crap that they're offing themselves. There are a billion Chinese people. If that doesn't mean their lives are insignificant than I don't know what does.

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Strhopper

you are clearly crazy or inconsiderate.

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Nimrod

actually, ied say hes just a fucking idiot.

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Carlidan

now that was a deserved nimrodism Good job.

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Strhopper

yeah but I was trying to be nice about it ;-P

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tony2tonez

What does suck, is running a country of 1Billion people, how to keep them all happy and working? Hes right about there being a overabundance of people. I am not saying, that doesn't mean they should do what they are doing but they can replace anyone at any time.

Imagine if their system was like ours? Paying better wages and conditions, what would that do the world economy and resources? Resources are already being strained and if China's overall quality was better, i think it would lead to bigger issues.

So yes by them paying crap wages, its able to get our consumer prices down. And as long as we keep manufacturing our stuff there, there is no need for China to changes its policy. They would have a huge uprising on their hands if we starting manufacturing more here then there. Like I said, I do not agree with what China does, but in sadistic way there is the balance of cheep goods for us, and China keeps their people working(through our manufacturing and cheap wages there).

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Ghok

Reading this comment makes me feel like I'm on the Yahoo Newswire or YouTube.

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Nimrod

ied say your a fucking moron as well. its amazes me how shit heads like you dont have any concept of the world prior to about 1900. Some of the people who work in these plants dont make enough to feed them selvs. So how exactly are they better off than if they were working in the rural areas of china and actually providing for them selvs like to many used to? Your a fucking idiot.

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Biceps

YAY! Nimrod, I've honestly missed your comments on MaxPC. And I agree, the guy is a frakking idiot.

Quick fix for America and people like this: run an advertisement on the Fox News Network for "Free Cheeseburgers", then take all the fat white people that show up, put them in one of those cannons from the circus, and fire their asses over to China. When they land, they can try to make a living, but will be screwed because everyone around them will be better educated and will actually know how to work while living on less than 15000 calories per day of pure saturated fat and salt. We could also turn it into the first reality televsion show actually worth watching.

Oh, and if anyone who shows up honestly is starving... they don't count. Give 'em a cheeseburger and send them home.

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tony2tonez

Why am i a idiot? If China hasn't changed their working policies that drastic by now? what makes you think they are going to change because of some planned mass suicide? Only way things will change there is when stop making our products there and/or US and China people demand better pay and working conditions there.

From China's government view of things, they don't care. We employ their people and they have an abundance of people to be forced into work.

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Nimrod

I do not think that their suicide will make things any better and I actually agree that as long as were farming our slave labor to them things will likely stay this way for a long time.

As it stands they are getting sick of the U.S. Dollar. Im a retailer, im also a firework hobbyist and I can tell you prices of doing thing in China IS going up. Prices on fireworks went up last year. I havent gotten any of my catalogs but some people are saying as much as a 20%!!! increase on wholesale pricing! And it seems to be true with just about everything else over there now. Its because of the hidden economic war but the news wont tell you about that and i cant explain it either.

But those people at FOXCONN ARE NOT better because of us farming our work out to them.

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Biceps

I am sorry I called you an idiot. Nimrod gets the better of me sometimes.

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ApathyCurve

Unrestricted capitalism results in sweatshops and monopolies. Communism of any stripe results in endemic poverty and political oppression. Mix them together and you get... modern China!

Lovely, isn't it? Still like those cheap Chinese goods?

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tony2tonez

I hate China cheep goods, half of their crap is done half-ass. I definitely think US can build equal quality or better goods. But yet we continue to buy their stuff because their prices are cheep. What do you think a iphone or xbox 360 would cost to make, if it was MADE in a USA Factory?

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Ghok

Not that much more, and even less if the CEO and other management didn't demand making obscene amounts more money than their workers do.

I mean, look at what Apple charges for their electronics, it's not like they're passing the savings on down to us. Executive pay has increased dramatically while manufacturing has been outsourced.

I buy goods made in North America all the time. As often as I can, in fact... but sadly, I can't for everything. We used to make a LOT of things here. Then we decided it'd be okay to have slaves working in other countries for us instead.

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dgrmouse

There are some very good points here. An important factor that is often overlooked, though, is that we would be no better off if we moved the sweatshops to the US. Especially, having foreign-owned companies producing goods in the US does not guarantee improvement in the US economy. Spend a few minutes trying to write a budget around a minimum-wage job in the US. It's not like our country is failing because we allow the Mexicans to bite the heads off our chickens on the cheap instead of having it done at the shop on the corner.

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Ghok

Well, I certainly wouldn't want people working here under the same kind of conditions. I'm not saying that people on the assembly line should be making the same as their CEO, but truly believe that a factory where the workers are treated decently and paid a decent wage can still be profitable. Then those people can pay their taxes and spend their wages, which is good for everyone.

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Strhopper

Don't have a link but some group did a study and came up with 20%-30% increase in price.

I for one would be happy with that. I myself work in manufacturing and I can tell you from first hand that US plants have much tighter quality control

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Kromix

got a set of led ring lights ultra bright from china, 6 bucks free shipping... i had to re-solder 2 connectors on one, but hey. cheap cheap and works great :D

only downside... had to wait 3 weeks as i ordered after the boat had left the dock and was waiting for the next, lol... :D US Cost? maybe 50-60 for the set...

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Biceps

Kronix, when that cheap set of lights burns your house down, you probably won't be so happy about saving 30 bucks. If you are American, buying American will enrich other Americans and keep the moneyy in an economy that is close to you. Republicans whose idea of trickle down economics is based on the idea that the majority of spending should be domestic... if the money flees the country, trickledown theory falls apart. Strange then that they have been front runners in the fight to erase barriers to shipping jobs overseas. Oh yeah, I forgot they are don't give a shit about us.

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Nimrod

do you shit heads not realize that the US had a booming economy BEFORE we ever even started trading with China? No i guess that would be impossible right? idiots

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tony2tonez

We had a big economy and still do. We have lost alot of the manufacturing jobs over the last 50yrs to China because of regulations, labor costs, environmental concerns.

What does it say when a American company can go to China, can build a new factory, new products, and ship them from the other side of the world to be sold in US. And still cost less then building it here.

There is a imbalance there that needs to be looked at by the US Gov't.

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Carlidan

"We had a big economy and still do. We have lost alot of the manufacturing jobs over the last 50yrs to China because of regulations, labor costs, environmental concerns."

Hmm...... So we should do exactly what Chinia is doing. Pay your employee 50 cents and hour and treat their employees an "animals". And screw "enviromental concerns" too. So if you get cancer, acid burn from acid rain, and other health concerns. Don't bitch then when you get it. And what exact regulations are you against. Too vague.
P.S. During the Clinton years, there was more regulation. And the economy seemed to prosper with em. Also there was more regulations during Kennedy, Einshower, and other administration before Reagan administration. So how did the seem to prosper? And we can't do it now?

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warptek2010

Bingo

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Strhopper

no! I don't think anyone reads history books any more. To worried about real house wives lol

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haboh

So, sounds about like working at Walmart? Or McDonalds?

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Strhopper

the comments about us the US going through this kind of hard ship is true but These kinds of working conditions shouldn't be tolerated! I don't care if early Americans went through the same conditions or not. If I was living then I would think its just as disgusting as I think this is.

Makes no difference. Comments like that seem to be like your tying to belittle the situation or play down the severe conditions these people are living in.

That or your trying to make your self feel better for buying that I-whatever or other electronic.

We as consumer's should demand better!

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I Jedi

It's wrong, but that's capitalism.

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Strhopper

yeah but we have a choice. if we collective demand something it will be provided. Just look at fads, Like the Atkins diet thing. I heard a bout that on the news then a week later there where Atkins stuff all over the grocery store. People just throw there hands up and say "oh that's just capitalism" are wrong. You don't even have to do much just start talking about it. That's all it takes to effect change

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I Jedi

Well, unfortunately, in a capitalistic society, whoever can produce the cheapest goods wins. If I can buy the same product at a lower price on Newegg than I can on Amazon, I'm going to buy it at Newegg. No one is going to collectively demand conditions get better for Chinese workers because it only means that the companies will pass on the savings to us (not). Capitalism may seem tough, but it's the only model that's both fair and prosperous for anyone. Sure, some are better able to take advantage of it, but the ability to "bring yourself out" of poverty has never worked so well until capitalism arrived. If you asked me to sign a petition to make conditions better for Chinese workers, I probably wouldn't sign it. Not because I am evil, but because cheap goods is what's keeping the poor in this country from slipping under the rug.

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win7fanboi

What a douche bag. China's economy is built upon deaths of low wage workers. Until conditions improve there and people start demanding decent compensation, USA will keep importing stuff and economies will suffer globally.

Checkout Cory Doctorow's 'For The Win' : http://craphound.com/ftw/download/

The book is available free for download legally and has an important message. The story is entertaining and is even worth the 13$ it's selling for at amazon.

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chipmunkofdoom2

I'm not trying to defend China by ANY means.. but I think Foxconn is getting a bad rap here.

First of all, he didn't say his workers are animals. What he said I can almost guarantee you was in Chinese, so what the translators told the publications he said and what he actually said could be two totally different things. Some Asian words don't have an English equivalent, so it has to be roughly translated. On the off chance he was speaking English, I'm willing to give the guy some slack.. not sure if anyone's noticed, but Chinese and English are a little different and it's probably a little tough to speak both. Read into his comments how you want, he's simply expressing the difficulty in keeping a million living, breathing, biological beings fed, sheltered, and happy, all while getting beaten over the head by the biggest corporations in the WORLD (Microsoft, Apple, etc) to keep profits up and expenses down.

Second of all, while this sounds horrible, many Chinese would consider this a vast improvement over the lives they have. The overwhelming majority of Chinese are desperately poor. Some subsistence farmers can earn as little as $600USD a year, and that's working very hard, very long hours every single day. Working construction you can probably earn 3 or 4 dollars a day. Earning $20 a week on an assembly line is huge improvement for a vast majority of Chinese.

So are the people killing themselves because they had a rough day at work and Foxconn is evil? Or are people suicidal because they're clinically depressed by the pollution, poverty, lack of privacy, and working hard for very little money is the norm in China. You be the judge. As far as Foxconn goes, I'd be willing to wager that they're an average Chinese employer, maybe a little better than average. That still means they are terrible, but probably better than average if we're measuring by Chinese standards.

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jesse_n_sf

Well the editors are Chinese and I'm sure they won't make mistakes at miss-interpretation. You also know that the editor is interpreting correctly when the Chairman also asked a "Zoo" in Taiwan to give him knowledge on how to manage animals. Stop trying to defend China incorrectly. BTW I have 3 Chinese housemates who study here in USA as international students from China and they was reading the Chinese article and said that Foxxcon is Evil and that what the chairman said is not right.

The Editors are:

References:

Terry Gou  郭台銘

Jin Shiqian  金仕謙

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