They say you can tell a lot about people by the company they keep. For Apple’s sake, we might hope that’s an overblown aphorism.
Foxconn, the largest manufacturer of iPhones, has long been a competent but troubling partner for Apple, mostly due to its… how to phrase this? “Labor practices” is too benign a term and “Dickensian LARPing” is too witty to describe it. After all, nobody dies or suffers life-altering disability in LARPing.
Well, other than the stigma.
But you get the idea. And if you live in Wisconsin you’ve a chance to see Foxconn’s patented dissembling first hand. Foxconn worked out a deal with the state—the company would receive huge subsidies in exchange for building a factory and “innovation centers” in the state and employing a certain number of people (credit to The Verge which has stuck on this story throughout). After high-profile ground-breaking ceremonies with Governor Scott Walker, former Senator Paul Ryan and President Trump, there was the deafening and relentless sound of some very aggressive crickets. 1950’s B-movie-style gigantic, irradiated crickets that were very angrily in peoples’ faces indicating that not much of anything was happening. Foxconn’s executives took umbrage at The Verge’s reporting of empty buildings that were supposed to be filled with happy workers and a year ago promised a statement refuting the “inaccuracies”.
That, much like the promised development and employment, never came.
Foxconn now claims it employs enough people to qualify for the subsidies, having hastily hired them at the end of 2019, but a previous audit found not all employees the company was claiming met the criteria set by the state. The current governor, Tony Evers, says the deal is no longer valid because the company will not be making LCDs in the factory as it promised. The factory is scheduled to open next month and will supposedly consists of a data center and “mixed manufacturing.” For its part, Foxconn says it has fulfilled its end of the deal so the state should pay up.
Now, it’s time to take a nice big drink of water and see what Foxconn is currently saying will be manufactured in its new Wisconsin factory.
“Latest claim for Foxconn’s Wisconsin factory is that it will make ventilators.”
The Macalope loses so many MacBooks this way. But he just can’t stop himself. Filling one’s mouth with water and reading headlines is an act of faith. Is it his fault that his faith is so often abrogated?
So. After all of this, if you believe that Foxconn is going to white knight its way out of the situation by putting a ventilator on every street corner, well, then The Macalope would like to make a subsidy deal with you where you buy him a lot of alfalfa and he makes vague promises that he never delivers on.
It would be nice if Apple kept better company. But here we are.