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China Nintendo Games

Nintendo Investigating Underage Workers At Foxconn 124

Posted by samzenpus
from the mario-approved dept.
itwbennett writes "Earlier this week, Foxconn revealed that an internal investigation had turned up workers as young as 14 toiling at its factory in Yantai, China. Now Nintendo, whose products are manufactured at that factory, is also investigating Foxconn's labor sourcing."
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Nintendo Investigating Underage Workers At Foxconn

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  • I for one (Score:4, Funny)

    by DFurno2003 (739807) on Friday October 19, 2012 @12:59AM (#41702229)
    Welcomed our whip snapping overlords xin li 14f, Yantai. -Sent from my iPhone 5
    • forgot to log out
      • This is one of the things I love most about the Internet. Once the bytes are transmitted and hit storage mediums frequented by a substantial number of souls, the bytes become quasi-immortal. I'll try to remember to perform a search for your post using whatever über (or uber for this venue, c'mon /. it's 2012, let's get with the Unicode program) engine is all the rage ten years from now. In the meantime, thank you for the reminder, and have a great day.
        • or uber for this venue, c'mon /. it's 2012, let's get with the Unicode program

          I don't completely understand why Slashdot is being so conservative regarding Unicode support. :) I mean, I'm glad they don't go implementing every geewhiz Facebook datamining social plugin, but the ability to type all the characters in the world would suit this site excellently. There are probably some pitfalls in the process, but it's widely being used on various websites without issued and, I assume that /. hackers are elite enough to solve any security and data storage related problems properly.

          • I don't completely understand why Slashdot is being so conservative regarding Unicode support.

            I've explained this several times. Google site:slashdot.org erocs [google.com] and you'll eventually end up at abuses of Unicode [slashdot.org], such as breaking site layout with bidirectional control characters, that prompted the use of what amounts to a narrow whitelist of code points.

            • There are also the wonderful Zalgo characters which can hit posts above you, as well as below.

            • I've explained this several times. Google site:slashdot.org erocs [google.com] and you'll eventually end up at abuses of Unicode [slashdot.org], such as breaking site layout with bidirectional control characters, that prompted the use of what amounts to a narrow whitelist of code points.

              I understand, but I'm also quite sure there is already well-proven methods to work out such problems. How would all the other websites get around them otherwise?

              • I'm also quite sure there is already well-proven methods to work out such problems. How would all the other websites get around them otherwise?

                By having editions in languages other than English, which provides revenue to pay people to work on features that would be useful to readers of editions in languages other than English. Slashdot, on the other hand, isn't affiliated with Barrapunto or Slashdot.jp.

  • Working at 14 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ottawanker (597020) on Friday October 19, 2012 @01:04AM (#41702251) Homepage

    That's the legal age in most places of Canada to start working, what's the problem? In Ontario you'd need to be 15 to work in a factory. I had my first job (part time) when I was that age.

    • Re:Working at 14 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TitusC3v5 (608284) on Friday October 19, 2012 @01:08AM (#41702273) Homepage
      You can work in most states in the USA as well at age 15 or 16 (and often younger for family businesses). Why is it such a big deal that there are 14 year olds at Foxconn?
      • Re:Working at 14 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Rockoon (1252108) on Friday October 19, 2012 @01:12AM (#41702281)

        Why is it such a big deal that there are 14 year olds at Foxconn?

        ..because a bunch of do-gooders think that its uncivilized. They equate child labor with forced labor.

        • Re:Working at 14 (Score:5, Interesting)

          by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Friday October 19, 2012 @01:31AM (#41702339)

          Why is it such a big deal that there are 14 year olds at Foxconn?

          ..because a bunch of do-gooders think that its uncivilized. They equate child labor with forced labor.

          You my lad will probably never grasp the idea that a brain needs to develop and needs to be fed with challenging ideas in order for it to reach a higher level of independence in later life. Allowing kids to work earlier brings them money but on the whole working at early age deprives them from development. At a younger age kids are easily influenced and will apparently consent to doing stuff they later regret. Civilised societies protect kids from taking risks they cannot oversee, like working too early in life. Sure, such regulations will not suit for an extremely small part of the population. Absence of such laws will however compromise a significant amount of kids and that will reflect onto society later on.

          • Re:Working at 14 (Score:4, Insightful)

            by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Friday October 19, 2012 @01:49AM (#41702389) Homepage

            These workers will not go on to develop the next great idea. They will be workers their whole lives. Starting earlier just means greater lifetime earnings. A brain just means more trouble for them as they will be bothered by the repetitive work, whereas duller minds tolerate it much better. In many cases what they do can literally be replaced by machines.

            I also note that you implicitly call China uncivlised, which sounds awfully racist to me.

            • Re:Working at 14 (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19, 2012 @01:56AM (#41702407)

              Yeah, but you're comparing workers from a first world country to China. In Canada, you can have unions, people have rights that are respected and upheld by the governement.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              These workers will not go on to develop the next great idea. They will be workers their whole lives. Starting earlier just means greater lifetime earnings. A brain just means more trouble for them as they will be bothered by the repetitive work, whereas duller minds tolerate it much better. In many cases what they do can literally be replaced by machines.

              Thank you Assistant Predestinator for reminding the Betas about Elementry Class Consciousness.
              All of the Alphas here remember their lessons and certainly agree with you.
              We all have our role: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by DigiShaman (671371)

              I also note that you implicitly call China uncivlised, which sounds awfully racist to me

              STOP IT! Just...stop! Race and Culture are two entirely separate things. DO NOT CONFLATE THE TWO!!!

              • Racism does not require intent, it merely requires that the target feel that racism has occurred.

                How dare you tell others to stop. Chinese is a race, and if you don't believe it, ask any Chinese.

                • You're projecting a feeling that isn't based on the reality of others. Second, China has other races that aren't Han. Further more, there are many different cultures in China including local languages that cross over regardless of race.

                  • Typical Western perspective. Ask any Chinese if Chinese is a race. They don't subscribe to your ridiculous preconceptions.
                    • My Chinese wife from Shanghai disagrees with you.

                      Face it. You're just pissed that I defanged your race card with logic.

            • by HiThere (15173)

              The point you're missing is that not only CAN they be replaced by machines, but they soon WILL BE replaced by machines. In fact robotic factories are already being build in China, because the machines are cheaper than even Chinese labor.

              It's true, the government may step in to halt this, out of concern for keeping the population busy. But it hasn't yet, and it may well not. After all, it didn't step in to prohibit outsourcing jobs to Indonesia.

              So what is your alternative for people who aren't allowed to

          • by Anonymous Coward

            At a younger age kids are easily influenced and will apparently consent to doing stuff they later regret.

            So, they're adults, then?

            I'm confused.

          • Re:Working at 14 (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday October 19, 2012 @02:06AM (#41702443) Homepage

            Correct, China isn't "civilised", in the Latin sense of the word. It's a cluster of medieval agrarian villages, with some industry springing up around major waterways. It's going through exactly the same industrial revolution that "civilised" nations went through in the past, with the same winners and losers.

            You can educate the peasants all the like, but then they'll be educated and toiling in the rice paddies, or educated and toiling in the factories. Either way, they're not post industrial and don't have the same leisure to flout their education from the comfort of their keyboards that you and I enjoy, and judging them on that basis is neither fair nor reasonable.

            • by bfandreas (603438)

              It's going through exactly the same industrial revolution that "civilised" nations went through in the past, with the same winners and losers.

              OHMIGOD! Has anybody told china about the perils the Spinning Jenny means for employment?

              Employing 14yr olds in factory isn't as bad as it sounds. As long as they are neither forced, overly exploited and outright cheated and the limits of child labour are observed. Many of the reported labour conditions at Foxconn may indeed constitute a violation of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. There's no need to let China go through a prolonged Dickensian area. Especially if you have any means to apply

            • by Anonymous Coward

              Nobody's judging the 14 year old's. We are judging the Chinese ruling class, and the Western companies that support them. When you see an injustice, you say "who am I to judge", others say "that's not right". A handful might actually try to do something about it.

              • by Luckyo (1726890)

                It's worth noting that most people in the West enjoy the lifestyle they currently have because of those few who went against the system and did something about it.

          • by Rockoon (1252108)

            You my lad will probably never grasp the idea that a brain needs to develop and needs to be fed with challenging ideas in order for it to reach a higher level of independence in later life.

            ..and you will never grasp the concept that whats good in your book doesnt mean shit to the Chinese people, that are striving for a better life through wealth creation.

            You want them to be poor forever? Where exactly are those challenging ideas going to come from? The rice fields that they are fleeing where all they have is the tattered robes on their bodies?

            Subsistence farming. Look it up you pompous windbag.

            • You my lad will probably never grasp the idea that a brain needs to develop and needs to be fed with challenging ideas in order for it to reach a higher level of independence in later life.

              ..and you will never grasp the concept that whats good in your book doesnt mean shit to the Chinese people, that are striving for a better life through wealth creation. You want them to be poor forever? Where exactly are those challenging ideas going to come from? The rice fields that they are fleeing where all they have is the tattered robes on their bodies? Subsistence farming. Look it up you pompous windbag.

              It almost sounds patronising the way you stereotype. Anyway. Any society is better off with well educated people. An educated employee will be able to add more value. Perhaps not because he works harder but more likely because he will reflect on the production process and feed back improvements. Let youths stay in school longer and have them adding value later on.

              Or try seeing it this way: There are very few countries with a large base of skilled people that die of famine.

              • by bjwest (14070)

                .... Let youths stay in school longer and have them adding value later on..

                You're assuming here that the youths are being taken from schools to work the factories. The more likely scenario is that they are being recruited from the fields and rice paddies, where they'd likely been working since their post toddler days. Their children would most likely be working these same fields if their parents (the current "child" working in the factory) had not left for a different job. These factory workers may be factory workers the rest of their lives, but I bet their children will be bet

                • You accuse me of assuming facts and yet you proceed with assuming yourself. Read my reply to Rockoon. In theory even China has a state run education system which kids should attend.

                  The fruits of the industrial age are borne in the knowledge derived from studying it. There's no obligation in repeating hardship as you can avoid it by reading books.
              • by Rockoon (1252108)
                You idiot, they are leaving subsistence farms, not schools. You have some bizzaro view of China that seems to incorporate convenient American visions. This is a country that sustained 10% GDP growth for more than several decades yet is still behind the western world in GDP per capita. Thats how poor they were. Thats how poor they still are. You get rich through production, not good intentions.
                • Like most current, former and sort-of communist systems, even China has state run education system. China most likely prides itself on how good it works. Theoretically. Bending the laws and getting kids to work only solves the short term problem with shortage of cheap and dedicated labour force. it will most likely cause a problem in say 10 years time. So it's in both China's and the kid's interests to having kids go to school. No tree hugging melodrama from me here,

                  BTW, nice and respectful way of starti
                  • by Rockoon (1252108)
                    You are a bigger idiot than I thought because you just relied on the premise that Foxconn has a labor shortage problem. Foxconn is the reason that other factories in China have labor shortage problems; everyone wants to work for Foxconn. Every day, thousands of people show up at Foxconn's Longhua recruitment center. Thats thousands per day you fucking moron.
                    • You are a bigger idiot than I thought ...

                      and then

                      ... you fucking moron.

                      You smooth talker! You go in straight for the target. I bet you reel in the gals with your suave words. The world envies you and everyone wants to copycat you. Except for the yelling at TVs and radios bit, which you no doubt must fall prey to. You delicious, passionate human being!

                    • by Rockoon (1252108)
                      blah blah blah.. you were wrong, tried desperately to save yourself, but instead dug a deeper hole. All the qualities of an idiot.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            > You my lad will probably never grasp the idea that a brain needs to develop and needs to be fed with challenging ideas in order for it to reach a higher level of independence in later life.

            What a bunch of BS. Can you show any proof of your assumptions? namely:
            - that kids at the age of 14 are not fully developed yet.
            - that working shields you somehow from "challenging ideas".
            - that those "challenging ideas" make you reach "higher level of independence".
            - that there's no better (or at least alternative)

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              What a bunch of BS. Can you show any proof of your assumptions? namely:
              - that kids at the age of 14 are not fully developed yet.

              Google is your friend. [google.com] Had you googled you wouldn't have looked so foolish, kid. Now get back to your damned homework and leave us adults alone.

              • by mcgrew (92797) *

                It looks like teens got mod points, or someone moderated without looking at the link. It's a simple google search with every single hit backing up my point. So some dumb kid downmods it because the truth hurts.

          • Children learn by doing. They learn to be independent by practicing it. Forcing them to sit in a classroom all day and "overseeing" everything for them ensures they will never mature. Ask anyone dealing with young adults; this treating teenagers as babies thing is causing huge problems in society.
          • by Belial6 (794905)
            In my youth, I personally knew a couple of girls that ended up as prostitutes right here in the good old US of A because lawmakers believed the crap you are spewing. You get your pick. 'Child' labor, or 'Child' prostitution. We know what side you stand on.

            OK, that IS a bit harsh. It is true, but harsh to say. It would be nice if more people would consider the real world outcome of our drive towards eternal 'childhood'.
        • by Hentes (2461350)

          With the mandatory Foxconn "internship" programs it is forced labour.

      • by bmo (77928)

        Because in the US and Canada, there are limits on how many hours kids can work. They're supposed to be able to go to school.

        In China? Not so much.

        --
        BMO

      • by aglider (2435074)
        Maybe it's the way they have been forced to go to work!
      • by tsa (15680)

        Because allegedly they work from 6 in the evening until 6 in the morning.

      • I cannot translate your sig

      • by Nyder (754090)

        You can work in most states in the USA as well at age 15 or 16 (and often younger for family businesses). Why is it such a big deal that there are 14 year olds at Foxconn?

        Considering that Foxconn overworks their workers, ya, having underage children there looks really fucking bad.

    • Your hours probably weren't equal to or beyond what adults would consider full time, were they? And just because in Canada the legal working age is lower than 16 has no bearing on laws in China.

    • "Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah."

    • The problem here is that the PRC Labor Law, passed by the Chinese government in 1994, establishes the minimum age for working in China as 16. There may be provisions for vocational work, part-time work or vacation jobs, but I personally doubt it without reading the text of the law, and my Mandarin Chinese skills are probably not up to that.

    • by MitchDev (2526834)
      Because if they are working factories, they aren't buying and playing Nintendo consoles and games!
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      My brother started working when he was 15 too. Worked about 20 hours a week. He was still able to maintain pretty good grades too. There's no reason somebody shouldn't be able to work at 14 or 15. And that's for a "real job". Most kids started working even younger than that delivering news papers. I remember working as a paper delivery boy when I was young, probably around 8 or 10. I remember getting very little money for delivering the paper when I was a kid. But then again, I was just a kid and had not
    • by Desler (1608317)

      The problem is that Chinese law is different. Last time I checked, the laws of Canada had no jurisdiction in China.

    • Re:Working at 14 (Score:4, Informative)

      by kilfarsnar (561956) on Friday October 19, 2012 @09:03AM (#41705171)

      That's the legal age in most places of Canada to start working, what's the problem? In Ontario you'd need to be 15 to work in a factory. I had my first job (part time) when I was that age.

      The problem is that the legal working age in China is 16. http://www.loc.gov/law/help/child-rights/china.php [loc.gov]

  • Do you really think that Foxconn uses underage people for one product only?
  • by Jimbob The Mighty (1282418) on Friday October 19, 2012 @01:13AM (#41702291)
    WiiU... For 14 year olds, by 14 years olds...
  • ...the iPhone looks like it was put together by a 5 year old.

    Owned.

  • The Musical Video (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spy Handler (822350) on Friday October 19, 2012 @01:40AM (#41702367) Homepage Journal

    [close-up shot of Steve Jobs lounging in a high-tech office, Apple logo]

    SJ: "Oppan Foxconn Style!"

    [camera zooms out, background is actually a Foxconn assembly line]

    14-year-old female worker: "Ooh, sexy lady"

    • The original report I saw over at the Financial Times had the following lines in it:

      Foxconn pledged to conduct a full investigation and fire any employee found to have been responsible for the violations. The company also said the Yantai facility “has no association with any work we carry out on behalf of Apple”.

      It's a bit sensational to fantasize about Apple standing on the backs of underage workers, but they've been having Foxconn run audits of the Apple manufacturing lines, they've been running audits of the lines, they've had neutral third-parties conduct audits of the lines, and they've allowed journalists to go in with free reign to ask anything and see pretty much anything. While the initial audits did turn up some issues wit

  • I am shocked... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19, 2012 @02:05AM (#41702439)

    .... there's gambling going on in the casino!!!!

    I was in my boss's office in the late 80's (probably 1988) while he was having a conversation with an old friend who owned another company. Both were computer companies with all their manufacturing here in the US and both were facing a new wave of cheap imported computer products flooding in from Taiwan. The friend told my boss that he had gone to China with some other business men and had seen that US companies there were using labor delivered to their factories every day by the People's army and returned to their barracks by that same army... the army made sure they had the right number of workers every day, made sure they never stole anything, and there were simply no labor laws as long as the US firms kept the Army happy (which was easy back then). He then said that he saw no future in manufacturing consumer goods in the US and was going to shift his production to China. My boss, refused to join that tidal wave and as the years went by and the US generally (and California in particular) added regulation after regulation while taxing him heavily and not protecting him from the modern equivalent of slave labor he eventually closed his doors and all his US workers lost their jobs.

    Companies like Apple are the most evil entities in the US:

    1. They talk a good line about civil rights and the environment and they back more laws along these lines (in the US where those laws will impact any new upstart who tries to get going in a garage somewhere) while shifting their own production to places like China where none of the laws they embrace will apply to them; they hope their super-gullible customers will fixate on the next shiny bauble and not notice.

    2. They demand that the US government and courts protect their intellectual property rights from any infringement by the very same hard working taxpayers of the US who fund that government... while depriving them of jobs in the US and pushing down their wages (by using cheap Chinese labor both in competition with and as a replacement for US workers)

    3. They demand all the benefits of capitalism and free enterprise within the US, but then when supply and demand rules within that arena might drive-up their costs for things like engineering and manufacturing they escape from the US to a police-state with a demand-economy (which any small upstart cannot do)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Companies like Apple are the most evil entities in the US:

      Why single out Apple other than being an iHater? Foxconn is used by basically EVERY US electronics company for manufacturing and assembly. Samsung also has its own labor issues as well before you try to trot out some fandroid nonsense, too. Apple wasn't even one of the first to move to China, anyway. Your faux outrage rings pretty hollow.

  • So the West have always wished to save people. Enforce their value system on the rest of the world. And as long as they have an economic stake in another nation, they shall. It's their bloody right. They pay for that right. And we need to respect that. Times really haven't changed. We, the 3rd world, are truly the White Man's Burden. Rescue us from the chains that bind us.
  • Wait, wait, wait...

    You mean Apple isn't the only company that uses Foxconn for manufacturing?

    You mean there are other companies involved with this Chinese behemoth that is so obviously the very worst exploiter of workers in the whole wide world?

    But...but...but...how will I get my hate on now that I have actual knowledge like this?

    Dan Aris

  • School is more or less standard for kids in China up through middle school. However, some kids are kicked out of school, or choose not to attend for some reason (or their parents pull them out for some reason). It is not unheard of for 14-year olds to be working full-time. For example, there is this 10-year old auto mechanic who does this work "as a hobby" since he was kicked out of school for bringing down the test scores:

    http://www.chinasmack.com/2010/pictures/10-year-old-boy-skilled-auto-mechanic.html [chinasmack.com]

    C

  • by Seumas (6865) on Friday October 19, 2012 @06:34AM (#41703551)

    Foxconn's internal investigation came after a Chinese media report and New York-based China Labor Watch said students from the ages of 14 to 16 were interning at Foxconn's factory in the Chinese coastal city of Yantai. Chinese labor laws prohibit companies from recruiting workers under the age of 16.

    I'm not a non-interventionalist. I mean, I believe we insert ourselves into far more situations than we need to and should general stay the hell out, but not as a hard and strict rule. However, I have to ask . . . why is this our problem? China is massive. What are they, one and a half billion people, by now? While some places are just small backwoods villages, they also have some of the largest and most modern cities around. They have their own businesses, government, law, citizens, workers, and probably activists, lobbies, and unions. If they feel that they have a problem with the way businesses are treating their citizens -- and even taking into account the history of China's treatment of their own citizens and dissidents -- isn't that their problem? We're not talking about some little country with a defunct government that is controlled by warlords that is possessed by lawless anarchy.

    Because a business in another country sub-contracts business out to them, everyone is supposed to feel a great deal of guilt over something that their own businesses and government don't have a problem with? Are parents selling their children to Foxconn who then takes them away and locks them in rooms with chained and barred doors and forced into slave labor doing stuff that'll cause them to lose limbs and digits?

    Their own labor laws say they can't recruit workers under the age of sixteen (though I had my first job in America at 12 and my first real job at 14). So let their government and system of law deal with it. If you feel the reports are true, report it to their government.

  • Here's some changed ones...
    Now you're working for power!
    Build it loud!

    And we can use these without changing them...
    Welcome to the future
    change the system
    Get N or Get out
    Wii would like to play
    What will you and i do? (

  • Seriously, China can and does hold Japan hostage via economic means. As such, I hope that nintendo is looking to use this as an excuse.
  • Foxcoon is like the USA of the past where works rights where very poor.

    They are doing it all.

    Under age work

    Unpaid work

    unpaid overtime

    Company town with changing workers the costs of living at work.

    and so one.

  • Since when does Nintendo care if kids sit for twelve hours a day performing repetitive hand motions and rarely seeing fresh air or sunlight?

    Their business model depends on it.

  • Can't we believe what Apple says?

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.

Working...