As of January 2012, an incredible 50 million Apple iPads have been sold, emphatically reiterating Apple’s stranglehold on the tablet computer market. But amidst the iPad’s wild success, reports of suicides and rampant worker abuse at Foxconn — Apple’s largest production plant in China – have plagued the device’s PR record, and placed Apple’s labor practices into the international spotlight. In hopes of defraying the negative publicity around Foxconn, Marketplace.org Shanghai Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz was recently granted an exclusive, and extremely rare opportunity to visit the factory floor. He was able to tour the assembly process and interviewed a small sample of the quarter million Chinese employed at the plant. This short video highlights some of the mundane production processes, and offers a brief glimpse into a Chinese worker’s life outside of their workday. The fascinating story continues at Marketplace.org, where you can read interviews with Foxconn workers, as well as interviews with their bosses. Schmitz’s findings weren’t entirely shocking, or representative of the tragedies that have taken place at Foxconn, the entire report still sheds a compelling light on the other side of the “Designed in California” equation that simply deserves to be seen.
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