In China, it's not usual for factories to pluck students from nearby schools to help with increased orders.
Heweltt-Packard, the world's largest supplier of PCs (just ahead of Lenovo), is demanding that its Chinese suppliers follow a new set of guidelines as it pertains to student labor. Factories in China have come under heavy scrutiny during the past couple of years due to complaints of labor violations, underage workers, and employee suicides, all of which are at least partially related to the rabid demand for electronic products from the likes of Apple, HP, and others.
Samsung wasted no time in sending a team of executives to one of its suppliers' factories in China to investigate claims that it may be using child labor. The in-house investigation is in rapid response to a China Labor Watch (CLW) report alleging to have found issues of underage workers and student labor exploitation at HEG, which builds mobile phones, DVDs, stereo equipment, and MP3 players for Samsung.
When it comes to manufacturing in North America we make food, cars, and import just about everything else. Our hunger for high tech has gone into hyper active mode over the last decade, and the thousands of new products pouring into our local Best Buy are usually made in China, Taiwan, or just about anywhere inexpensive labour can be found. The repetitive tasks and long hours have led to a PR nightmare for companies such as Apple, who in earnest, have offered up several guided tours to help highlight the positive aspects of life at these city sized plants responsible for making our gadgets. These tours have been guided, carefully staged events however, and many have wondered what a candid un-staged video might look like. If that’s you, wonder no longer. A manufacturing slipup by Quanta has given us a rare glimpse at one of the HP manufacturing lines, and it’s pretty darn dull.
Microsoft wasn't quite ready to tip its hand with a Windows 8 Release Preview until sometime next week, but ready or not, someone leaked the Chinese version to the Web. With the cat out of the bag, the Windows 8 Release Preview has been making the rounds, giving us more than just a glimpse at what the next build has in store, including an updated boot screen.
Getting your hands on a hot new PC game isn't as simple in China as it is in the United States. The Chinese Ministry of Culture needs to clear a title before it becomes available in stores, a process that's been known to take months, or even years. As a result, impatient Chinese gamers looking to engage in demonic hack n' slashing have resorted to pineapples, phonics and search trickery to get their hands on the much-coveted game.
Technology bigwigs Hewlett-Packard and Dell are keeping a watchful eye on the labor situation in China, the one in which Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, Ltd.) has doled out major wage increases to workers who build Apple devices in an attempt to improve much criticized working conditions, and may end up hiking prices if labor costs go up across the board.
Apple's been harassing Samsung (and others) around the globe, using legislation and intellectual property nuances to suffocate competitive sales and yank Galaxy Tabs off store shelves. Now it's Apple's turn. After a Chinese court ruled that Apple has no right to use the "iPad" name in mainland China because a company called Proview Technology (Shenzhen) holds the trademark, Proview announced they were suing Apple for $1.6 billion in damages. Now, Proview wants a complete iPad import/export ban -- and since all iPads are manufactured in China, an export ban could choke off worldwide supply for the mega-popular tablet.
More likely than not, the phone or tablet you have sitting nearby was assembled in mainland China at one of the mega-facilities run by companies like Foxconn. The news cycle has recently brought stories of poor and dangerous working conditions, and even suicides in Foxconn plants.
That fact that China is home to more Internet users than ever before isn't surprising, but the rate of growth at which people in China are hopping on the Web is simply staggering. A report by the state-run China Internet Network Information Center says the number of people using the Web topped half a billion, rising 12 percent in December to 513 million people, to be precise.
Don’t let the headline fool you; Apple’s still selling plenty of iPads in its Chinese stores, especially the ones in Shanghai and Beijing. Those honeypots may soon dry up, though, as a Chinese court has determined that Apple has no right to use the iPad moniker in mainland China. The company that owns Chinese rights to the name now plans to sue the pants off of Apple for selling the iPad on the mainland. But the infringed company is totally cool that Apple used the iPad name on the island of Taipei. Sound complicated? It is.