conference logo
Bits & Bäume 2018

Playlist "Bits & Bäume 2018"

Dying for an iPhone

Jenny Chan

Foxconn Technology Group is the major contractor for Apple and other leading electronics multinationals. In 2010, 18 workers were known to have attempted suicide at Foxconn facilities in China, resulting in 14 deaths. They ranged in age from 17 to 25 — all were rural migrants in the prime of youth, emblematic of the new working class. The worker suicide tragedy reveals the collateral damage imposed on Chinese society by the combined activities of international capital and the Chinese state. Eight years on, have the one-million-strong Foxconn workers who produce the most lucrative products like iPhone Xs seeing improved working and living conditions? Has Apple’s extraordinary profitability been coupled with any greater social responsibility? This talk takes us to the heart of workers’ lives and deaths in globalized electronics production.