Apple's favoured supplier scores PR own goal
is running around trying to tell the world+dog that it is not bolstering its profits by using Chinese sweatshops to make its toys, one of its key suppliers has just made a huge PR mistake.
Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou told his senior managers that Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million worldwide and “as human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache.” Hon Hai is the parent company of Foxconn, which makes iPhones and iPads for Apple. Gou added that he would “like to learn from the director of the Taipei Zoo, Chin Shih-chien, as to how animals should be managed”.
It is possible that the comments were made as a joke which was lost in the translation, given that Foxconn workers have been throwing themselves off buildings lately has been a cause for concern. Recently there was a mass protest after Foxconn just ignored an agreement it made to pay workers at the plant. We guess if the management sees them as animals it makes these things easier on their conscious.
Less easy is the position of Apple which apparently wants to work with people who think their workers are animals. Steve Jobs famously dismissed any allegations that Foxconn was a sweat shop and certainly did not use child labour. However if Apple pushes Foxconn to make too many changes the price of its shiny toys will go up.
Anyway Apple fanboys have shown a complete lack of interest about who their toys are made, it would not matter if Foxconn spent up its production lines by attaching electrodes to workers genitals they would still queue up for them.