IPhone X Assembled With Illegal Student Labor

Workers at a Foxconn facility in 2010

The report cited only six workers out of the thousands working at the facility.

Foxconn noted that its policies prohibit interns from working more than 40 hours per week, however the iPhone-builder acknowledged the policy violation and said it's working with Apple to ensure history doesn't repeat itself.

The students, whose ages range from 17 to 19, told the paper they were informed that a "three-month stint" working on the iPhone assembly line was a "work experience" requirement they had to fulfill in order to graduate from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School.

We've confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime.




The supplier said the internship program was "carried out in co-operation with local governments and a number of vocational schools in China". An 18-year-old student told reporters that she has to assembled as many as 1,200 iPhone cameras in a single day.

Foxconn and Apple have come under scrutiny for conditions and circumstances of labor in China before. Hon Hai is the exclusive assembler of the iPhone X and Apple didn't start selling its marquee device until November, nearly two months after the iPhone 8 hit shelves. A team of specialists is on site at the facility working with the management on systems to ensure the appropriate standards are adhered to. The school declined to comment when contacted by the Financial Times. At the time Cook and senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said in an internal email they were "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way".

The school, together with the plant violated the law of China, as all interns must not work more than 40 hours a week. Both companies said the students were working voluntarily, according to the FT. Today, the Financial Times reports that illegal labour practices persist.

Apple confirmed the report in a statement to the Times but denied the work was compulsory. However, this year the company released two new iPhones for the first time, putting extra pressure on its suppliers and assemblers to churn out millions of handsets ahead of the key holiday shopping season.

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