Cheap Hardware, but at What Cost?

Add Your Comments

Everyone and their mother is out there searching for the best deal. First it was coupons in the newspaper, then came Black Friday, FatWallet, SlickDeals, even daily deals on twitter. (Did I mention to follow @overclockerscom?) Hell, someone got trampled to death at a Walmart last Black Friday, so is it worth sacrificing human life for a good deal?

Now do not misunderstand, I am by no means a human rights activist despite my love for U2, not to mention Jack Bauer is my hero. However once in a while a truly disturbing situation catches my attention. It is my duty to report such glaring human rights violations — well, only when it is related to overclocking (and it doesn’t threaten national security – I still love you Jack Bauer).

The New York Times reports that on Tuesday, a 19-year old employee at Foxconn apparently jumped to his death at a factory operated by Foxconn, a manufacturer of motherboards, power supplies, and electronics. This is the ninth suicide this year at this complex of China factories in Shenzhen, where 420,000 people are employed. This story has gained international attention over the past week as China’s media outlets have been publishing “sensational accounts” of abuse and mis-treament of workers (according to Foxconn executive Terry Ghou).

Nine suicides in the course of five months may not be cause for alarm, “the suicide rate at Foxconn is still below estimates of the national rate of about 14  per 100,000 people in China” [NY Times] (as compared to 11 per 100,000 in the USA). Makes me wonder what goes on in China? Casting aside that disturbing statistic, clearly something is awry at Foxconn. Different labor rights organizations have demonstrated outside the Foxconn factory as well as accused the conglomerate of abusing and under-paying its workers.

An investigation is underway, but this awful situation begs the question, is greed the universal motivator? Mr. Ghou is one of the richest men in China, but does this come at the expense of his workforce of over 420,000?

Consumers are more aware than ever about where their purchases come from, whether they are organic, free-trade or the like. The only conclusion that can be drawn is caveat emptor. It is unlikely free-trade electronics are the next wave of the future, but it is certainly worth mulling this over (it’s better than working, right?).

mdcomp

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discussion
  1. Thing is.. i don't give **** about this 3 year old story...or who makes sockets or of its true or not. People protested for a reason is all I know. They raised rates immediately after this happened so whole it may be a good place to work things changed immediately after us a sign something wasn't right.
    also another reson this exploded becasue of how massive the company is. thought if you do not want to by from foxcoon I sugest you not to buy intel as foxconn manufactues/invented the intel heatsink.
    There have been articles like that around for several years talking about incidents at Foxconn. But one thing I think you need to take into consideration is the massive scale at which it operates...420,000+ employees :eek: That's ~100,000 more people than the entire population of Iceland :eh?:
    EarthDog
    None here.. but I generally take all news with a grain of salt. :p


    My Dad told me, back in the early '60s, that half of what I would read in the newspaper would be incorrect or propaganda, and to question the other half. Far as I can tell, he's been right.
    you should this was blown compleatly out of prepotion... you do not wan to now what other companys do to there workers. foxconn is axually a very ligite company.

    Becasue if you did they would have to kill you...

    (on a side note my dad works in the fan/heatsink department)
    EarthDog
    +1

    ...as well as every media outlet... not just the USA. Hell googling around a bit shows that the Chinese media did the same thing to Foxconn. Its not just the 'ignorant westerners'... :-/


    Sorry should of said tipical western stereotyping. of couse not you guys

    (I would hope) but most people have no idea what accualy hapens in china media included
    what was missunderstoad is that foxconn already pays a pretty heft salary to the workers but they want more. company can't provide the increase to ALL the workers so they go on strike/ protest and being the strict laws in china the company can't fire them conditions escalate and are made worse by the media.. you see where I am going with this?
    4GHZ_or_bust
    They will raise the price since they need to pay for corpse cleanup since these employees aren't getting paid enough to set up funeral expenses or anything else.

    Ok a little crappy statement but Foxconn will need to improve a lot of things, and raising price on goods and put extra profit to worker's paycheck would help a lot.


    ^^ the abouve is basicly wrong the workers at the factory get paid on averag more than at any other company
    madhatter256
    It's called American Media Sensationalism... Every factual detail in every news story is misconstrued, exaggerated or completely left out to build a story that attracts attention.
    +1

    ...as well as every media outlet... not just the USA. Hell googling around a bit shows that the Chinese media did the same thing to Foxconn. Its not just the 'ignorant westerners'... :-/
    It's called American Media Sensationalism... Every factual detail in every news story is misconstrued, exaggerated or completely left out to build a story that attracts attention.
    Ok.....you left us hanging...please, since your dad is the head manager there, explain what was misunderstood.

    I also dont think anyone criticized the company, did they?
    I know this is old, so don't go screamming necroposting please just read what I have to say(going:bang head right now because of western ignorence)

    I just want to say that all you western nation dwellers have no idea what it is like to work in china Foxconn is consindered a really good company by the standerds of china. I just request that you really understand the situation before you criticize the company. thank you

    and no I don't work for Foxconn, but I know this stuff becasue my dad was and still is the head maneger for that factory.
    They will raise the price since they need to pay for corpse cleanup since these employees aren't getting paid enough to set up funeral expenses or anything else.

    Ok a little crappy statement but Foxconn will need to improve a lot of things, and raising price on goods and put extra profit to worker's paycheck would help a lot.