In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad

foxconn explosion



The consequences of employing cheap labor for the sake of a product awaited by millions of people over the world, as many suicide cases, industrial accidents, and labor strikes in Foxconn factories, processing most of the world’s smartphones and other electronic devices, across China have shown.

Read the full article in The New York Times.




Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.

More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to cleaniPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant, according to a Chinese group that published that warning.

“If Apple was warned, and didn’t act, that’s reprehensible,” said Nicholas Ashford, a former chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, a group that advises the United States Labor Department. “But what’s morally repugnant in one country is accepted business practices in another, and companies take advantage of that.”

Apple is not the only electronics company doing business within a troubling supply system. Bleak working conditions have been documented at factories manufacturing products for Dell, Hewlett-Packard, I.B.M., Lenovo, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Toshiba and others.

Is China’s basic education a success, or does it destroy the morality of society?



Questioning the relevance of Chinese education system and the complicating situation faced by the country’s society at modern times.

Read the full article in China Daily Mail blog.




Just like experts claim, China’s basic education does give students more skills and knowledge – that at least seems to be right. However, as we know, China’s education system is an exam-oriented system. All skills are aimed at coping with countless types of exams.

This model has this effect in China: the schools, especially middle schools, become factories. Most Chinese middle schools simply force students to recite all the knowledge points so they can enter a good college, which is in turn is seen as an advertisement of middle schools success. What Chinese high school kids do is just deal with thousands of exam papers and become skilful on how to pass exams.

Most of them, however, have no knowledge at all. Math, for example, gives the illusion that Chinese students are superior. They can calculate numbers quickly. However, the calculator ruins the possibilities for Chinese students. The questions met in industrial projects are quite different from those on Chinese style education paper, and the graduates lose contact with reality.

In real-life projects, students are unable to use what they have learnt to solve real-life problems. So there is no wonder that Chinese students can’t do anything after such a long time of exam-oriented studies. Many students say, what they get in the six years middle school time is just how to deal with over difficult exams. No real skills.