Shock! Apple admits it uses factories that employ children

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It seems that quite a few children were discovered working in the factories where they assemble Apple products and components. Why this would come as a surprise to anyone is beyond me. Did people think Apple had a special brushed-aluminum facility surrounded by parks and fountains, where volunteer workers happily put together iPads just for the chance to be part of something magical? No, Apple is a gargantuan electronics company just like any other. I keep telling you! Hold them to a higher standard than Acer or Samsung and you’re bound to be disappointed.

The truth, as John pointed out in his series of articles describing China’s manufacturing districts, is that they’re all sweatshops of varying quality. Even if 75% of the workflow is overseen correctly and employs no minors or what have you, what about the subcontracting for this piece of memory or that hinge? Can you guarantee that a fair wage was paid for that, or that kids weren’t involved?

It’s a fact of our globalized and consumer-oriented culture that we need to have stuff created as quickly and cheaply as possible. I’m not taking a position on this, I’m just saying that’s the way it is right now, and stuff like kids getting a dollar a day in Chinese factories is a consequence of it.

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