Foxconn fesses up to overworking students on PS4 assembly lines

By on October 10, 2013, 12:00 PM
sony, foxconn, ps4, students, playstation 4, school credit, assembly line, interns

Chinese component manufacturer Foxconn is coming under fire once again after admitting they required student interns to work overtime to build parts for Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4. According to a report from Chinese website Tencent Games (translation), students were forced to work long hours which included night shifts and overtime as Sony prepares to launch their next generation console next month.

Thousands of students from the Xi’an Institute of Technology were reportedly forced to work at the factory in order to earn six course credits required for graduation. That isn’t a huge deal in and of itself but once the students arrived at the facility, they were forced to work menial assembly line jobs that are in no way related to their field of study.

The company said in a statement that immediate actions have been taken to rectify the situation and bring the entire campus into compliance with their codes and policies. What’s more, Foxconn said the student intern work was all voluntary and they were free to leave the program at any time. This of course contradicts the initial report that school credits were at stake.

For their part, Sony isn’t taking any of the blame. In a statement on the matter, the company noted that the Sony Group established the ‘Sony Supplier Code of Conduct’ in June 2005 with the expectation of every supplier agreeing and adhering to the policies of the Sony Group in complying with all applicable laws, work ethics, labor conditions and respect for human rights, environmental conservation and health and safety.




User Comments: 14

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9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That's just an excuse Sony. Students exploited to make your product are still your responsibility. (Didn't screen the manufacture to ensure they could meet demands, had adequate staffing, etc.) It isn't ethical to hide behind an agreement. It does remove you somewhat from the burden of guilt, but Sony should at least offer an apology to the students and investigate these accusations. And possibly offer repercussions to Foxconn for violating the agreement.

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Overworked students are nothing new. In the states we do it all the time. We give them fancy names like 'residents' (if you're going to be a Dr.) or 'intern'.

I'm kidding of course... although it is good for Sony this story is coming out now. This way it'll be forgotten by the time the PS4 is ready for selling.

2 people like this | Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And once more Foxconn is in the news for abusing their work force, this time they're exploiting slave labor, all so fat Americans can pay $50 less for their Playstations... Pretty sad, but hey, with that money being saved I would say hamburgers all around? But hey, that's the electronic industry, make it for as little as possible, barely paying those who build it and then sell it to make the most profit possible. And still the PS4 will be sold at a loss to Sony. Too bad they can't just slap an Apple logo on in and call it the iStation 4, they'd be able to sell it for triple.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

But yet this won't stop sales of the PS4. So in the long run, why would Foxconn care?

1 person liked this | Mikymjr Mikymjr said:

Seems like companies just wanna make money at the cost of others. It's sad that companies always use the term "it's business". You know if it becomes worse which it probably will, they'll say it even when people die at fabrication or assembly plants. I mean come on. Every big manufacturer already knows, what foxconn does ( the second time I heard something going wrong with their labor practices) and yet when this happens again, Sony says "oh I don't know"(fingers crossed). At least when this happens, start looking for an other fabrication plant to do it for you. If you're making a great product, don't make others suffer. Also what happens is, people buy products and forget by who it was put together at the assembly plants.

1 person liked this | avoidz avoidz said:

For big corporations these slaves are expendable, plenty more where they came from. It's a depressing situation in a modern society. High tech gadgets, but at what cost? Human lives.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

For big corporations these slaves are expendable, plenty more where they came from. It's a depressing situation in a modern society. High tech gadgets, but at what cost? Human lives.

Hasn't society been like that since forever? It's just a fact of life. E.g. people dying all over the place while building pyramids.

2 people like this | Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

No one seems to be noticing that Foxconn is also making hardware for the Xbox one aswell

1 person liked this | Mikymjr Mikymjr said:

Hasn't society been like that since forever? It's just a fact of life. E.g. people dying all over the place while building pyramids.

yet in those times people stood up because they knew it wasn't right. What about now? Are we really gonna close are senses? Just because it happens and the majority seems to think "meh as long as nothing happens to me, I'm okay with it" doesn't mean that it's okay, cause it may well happen to us in any kind of form. What will we teach the next generation? "oh hey son just be like the majority, because it's a fact". No keep on doing what is right

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Xbox One is being manufactured by Foxconn too

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20130520PD216.html

[link]

Infact Xbox 360 was too

[link]

[link]

Nintendo WiiU was too.

Practically every laptop made has either printed circult board parts manufactured by Foxconn or fully assembled by Foxconn.

Camikazi said:

And once more Foxconn is in the news for abusing their work force, this time they're exploiting slave labor, all so fat Americans can pay $50 less for their Playstations... Pretty sad, but hey, with that money being saved I would say hamburgers all around? But hey, that's the electronic industry, make it for as little as possible, barely paying those who build it and then sell it to make the most profit possible. And still the PS4 will be sold at a loss to Sony. Too bad they can't just slap an Apple logo on in and call it the iStation 4, they'd be able to sell it for triple.

Sony = Japanese company and world-wide sales don't blame Americans when the ENTIRE world takes advantage of the lower prices the JAPANESE company sets.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sony = Japanese company and world-wide sales don't blame Americans when the ENTIRE world takes advantage of the lower prices the JAPANESE company sets.

I agree the entire world does indeed profit off the exploitation, it just seems the American market profits more with lower prices. PS4 Launch prices for example: US $399, UK £349 = $556.89, 349 EUR = $540.28, Aus 549 AUD = $519, Jap ¥39,980 = $405.68. But the Japanese market only gets it on February 22nd.

1 person liked this | Boilerhog146 Boilerhog146 said:

What are you doing reading and commenting in here ? get back to work ...LoL.:p

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I agree the entire world does indeed profit off the exploitation, it just seems the American market profits more with lower prices. PS4 Launch prices for example: US $399, UK £349 = $556.89, 349 EUR = $540.28, Aus 549 AUD = $519, Jap ¥39,980 = $405.68. But the Japanese market only gets it on February 22nd.

Ever heard of volume discounts? The US purchases a lot more consoles than other countries.

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