Donate

Do Now #19: Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China

| February 10, 2012 | 2 Comments
  • Share:
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Email


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


Do Now

Should Apple build the iPhone here? Why or why not?

Introduction

Apple is a company that many view as a role model for success. However, Apple like many electronic companies assembles parts and manufactures its products abroad – most notably in China because of the vast pool of cheap labor.

Foxconn, in Chengdu, China is a major producer of Apple products producing millions of iPhones and iPads annually. (Foxconn also includes Amazon.com, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and other tech giants amongst its clientele.) But Foxconn and Apple are now in the news for the inhumane working conditions in factories in China e.g. the long hours, no talking policy on the factory floor, low wages and most notably worker suicides. In contrast to the perfection of the sleek, hi-tech product, Apple is under fire for the Dickensian working conditions suffered by its offshore workforce.

What would it take to reshore Apple – the term for bringing back work that has been outsourced abroad? It seems manufacturers are now reviewing their options (e.g. – Four Northern California companies have reshored products from China to Wright Engineered Plastics.)

Obama’s recent State of the Union Address 2012 called on business leaders to “ask what you can do to bring the jobs back.” He proposed ending tax breaks for US corporations operating overseas and giving incentives to US-based production with a view to reversing the unemployment cycle. There is now a lobby in support of bringing jobs back to America; the iPhone could be made in America if either Apple or the US government really wanted that to happen.

Resource

 
KQED’s News Fix post Jon Stewart Takes on Controversial Apple Supplier Foxconn – Jan. 17, 2012
[January 16] on “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart and Co. took on Foxconn, the giant Taiwan-based company that is often cited as the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics, and especially Apple products — it turns out tens of millions of iPhones and iPads annually.

The huge Foxconn complex in Shenzen, China, however, has become especially notorious for harsh working conditions, which have frequently been blamed for a rash of employee suicides.


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


More Resources for Follow-up Lessons

KQED Forum segment Working Conditions at Apple Suppliers – Jan. 17, 2012
Apple is working to head off criticism over how workers are treated in their supplier factories. For the first time, they’ve made public their major suppliers and also say that they’ve increased factory inspections. But last week, some workers at a major supplier in China threatened to kill themselves for better work conditions.

Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia Commons

Explore: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Do Now, Do Now: Government and Civics

  • Share:
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Email

About the Author ()

Maxine Einhorn is from London and has lived in the Bay Area for 12 years. She has worked in adult education in London,UK, for over twenty years as a tenured instructor and department manager. She has an MA in Film and TV from University of London and has taught, moderated and appraised academic work in film studies and media literacy at undergraduate and college level. She runs the ESL/ Post Secondary project at KQED which offers media-rich resources for and created by ESL educators.
  • Vaughn Orum

    Manufacturing takes turns under all types of economic systems. In a free market economy, manufacturing is usually directed toward the mass production of products for sale to consumers at a profit. In a collectivist economy, manufacturing is more frequently directed by the state to supply a centrally planned economy. In mixed market economies, manufacturing occurs under some degree of government regulation.’-.”

    Please do head to our very own homepage
    <http://wellnessdigest.co

  • Vaughn Orum

    Manufacturing takes turns under all types of economic systems. In a free market economy, manufacturing is usually directed toward the mass production of products for sale to consumers at a profit. In a collectivist economy, manufacturing is more frequently directed by the state to supply a centrally planned economy. In mixed market economies, manufacturing occurs under some degree of government regulation.’-.”

    Please do head to our very own homepage
    <http://wellnessdigest.co