As Apple prepares to start selling its new iPad Mini, workers at a Chinese factory that manufactures the product have been enduring chemical fumes, 12-hour work shifts and alleged company mismanagement as they assemble the new device.
The name Foxconn has become shorthand for the human costs of building the iPhone in China, linking Apple to bad publicity about worker suicides, deaths from a plant explosion and rioting factory workers. But many other companies besides Apple contract with the Taiwan-based firm to build their products.
A workers' rights group has slammed what it calls the "iPad mini manufacturer" for maintaining poor working conditions at a factory in China.
The factory has been accused of employing a number of interns below the legal working age of 16
Electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group said on Tuesday that students as young as 14, below the legal working age, were found employed at a company factory in China that has been said to make products for Japanese gaming firm Nintendo.
Apple plans to open a new company store in Beijing this coming Saturday, ahead of a likely launch of the iPhone 5 in this large market for the company.
Apple supplier Foxlink, a maker of iPhone cable connectors, is disputing claims that a company worker committed suicide after being denied a leave of absence, suggesting instead that drug use may have played a role in the worker's death.
The family of a worker who committed suicide at an Apple supplier in China is blaming his death on the harsh management at the factory and has tried demonstrating against the company, only to be detained by local police.
China's Foxconn manufacturing sites are expanding based on cheap labor, while Japan's older, traditional Sharp plants hang on through cost-cutting measures.
Foxconn workers are blaming company security guards for Sunday's unrest at a manufacturing facility in China.
Apple supplier Foxconn reopened a manufacturing facility in China on Tuesday a day after it closed following a mass riot involving 2,000 workers.
Apple supplier Foxconn said an "incident" involving 2,000 workers erupted late Sunday night near a company manufacturing facility in China, as photos posted online showed cars turned over and store windows broken in what appeared to be a mass riot.
A Foxconn worker was found dead on Wednesday morning, with Chinese press calling it a suicide, but authorities are still investigating.
Apple supplier Foxconn has denied forcing vocational school students in China to work at its factories.