Foxconn and Apple: a vicious cycle.


Foxconn-Robotic-Workers

The mass population of the Western countries view Apple as a cool chic company. As in many other instances in our life, we are solely able to see the very superficial side the story and only once somebody else unburies the rest do we, sometimes, pay attention to it. This situation is very uncharacteristic with the label that people are giving our generation. We are supposed to be the socially conscious generation, but are we really? As I see it, individuals rarely question the process that takes place before we get our products delivered in a nice little package over the mail or in a physical store. We are simply satisfied with the end result, in this case the sophisticated yet simple and aesthetic nature of Apple products. The same happens with other so called “cool companies” such as Amazon, for example. The consumer seems so focused in all the benefits that these companies provide us with that they forget that with benefits come costs. And these costs are exactly the ones that Daisey talked about in his podcast.

Now, I believe that it is important to note that the negligence of these costs is, of course, partly on the consumer; however, I also can see how the consumer does not have all the power in stopping operations such as the endangering of the health of many underage children in China. Having researched the podcast before listening to it, I believe to have been able to acquire a more objective perspective about the situation that Daisy is describing. The situation as I see it is, sadly, typical for many large scale corporations. Having millions of products in demand, they struggle to both deliver and to make profit. Foxconn is one of the biggest and essential manufacturers for Apple and many other corporations. The factories in which these accidents take place are not directly supervised by Apple but by the contractor company Foxconn. This company is increasingly known for the absolutely terrible conditions to which their workers are subjected to while getting double the pay that they would in a different job. The military style management of Foxconn is the cause that leads to suicides, children with serious health issues, and many many other consequences.

The relationship between Apple and Foxconn is complicated. At this point, I think it would be pretty fair to say that one could not survive without the other; there is no other contractor company that could possibly deliver products to Apple with the same timeliness as Foxconn and Apple orders keep Foxconn running. Due to this, as I see it Apple has very little say in how this contractor company is managed. I believe that it is mostly the Chinese government that has a say in the matters. I am surprised that the podcast does not quite go into this. It is the government’s job to implement standards in their domestic markets, specially in a country that is increasingly priding itself about how they’re becoming the biggest world power and authority.

Surely it would be unfair to say that the Chinese government has all the say in the matter since we do have some say as well. We all know that supply drives demand. The more Apple products we want, the higher the chance that workers somewhere in the world will be suffering. Morally and environmentally speaking, there is an enormous need for the Western countries to understand that our consumerism is not sustainable. A solution that I see is showing companies that we want quality goods that last for longer rather than continuous upgrades. Obviously this is tricky in rapidly changing technological landscape, but it is definitely something that we should aspire to in many areas of our life.

 

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