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I want to make it clear from the start that I have no quarrel with Apple products. I am not an Apple fan, but millions of people love Apple products, mostly with good reason, and Apple has become a fad. However, there is a very dirty underbelly to all this, one that the Western and especially US media desperately hide, with a censorship that is total.

Apple today is in the news due to severe labor unrest at its main assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China, with the Western media providing about 98% misinformation. This is the last part of the legacy of Steve Jobs who created a kind of sociopathic monster behind the scenes that is not at all in keeping with the cute, pretty and friendly image Apple try to convey as a company.

Apple do not manufacture or assemble any of their products, all this being subcontracted to others with Apple simply collecting the profits. CPUs and specific parts are made in China, Taiwan, other nations, then all delivered to Apple’s main assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China for assembly, testing, packaging and shipping. This is the source of all the trouble. The company in charge of this venture, a Taiwanese firm named Foxconn, has facilities in Zhengzhou with about one million workers for Apple products, a site that has been operated as virtually a concentration camp for years. The situation is well-known in China but not a single word appears to have ever escaped into the Western media.

These young people working for Foxconn assembling Apple products work very long shifts, live in “dormitories” that are little over 100 sq. ft. each, and are virtually prisoners in this “factory campus”. The pressures have always been intense. Several years ago, it was so bad that there were flurries of suicides at the factory where young people were simply unable to withstand the strain and pressure. The pay has never been good and the working conditions, terrible. Those who accepted these jobs did so because they had few other choices, but the undercurrents of brutality were always there. The lack of concern for these young people in the West was unconscionable. I was stunned to read a report on the suicides in the Western media where someone wrote that the suicide rate per million for Foxconn employees was lower than that for China generally, and that this proved it was a good place to work. Aside from being untrue, I can scarcely imagine a heart more callous than to write something like that.

It is only due to the arrangement Jobs made with Foxconn that Apple is at all profitable – “the world’s most valuable company”. If those young people were employed at any normal facility, paid anything resembling a living wage, Apple would be nothing, at least financially. It has always been a surprise to me that the Chinese government didn’t just shut the entire place down. One of the issues is that both Apple and Foxconn have consistently been permitted to violate almost all labor laws in China, usually by claiming unclear legislation. One result is that Apple has ensured its costs remain low by Foxconn requiring their staff to work 10 and 12 hours per day, sometimes 7 days a week, but somehow always neglecting or refusing to pay overtime.

This past week, things seem to finally have reached a crisis. Foxconn began increasing the pressure enormously on those young people for higher (and cheaper) production in preparation for the Christmas season, but more than 100,000 employees quit instead. Foxconn managed to recruit another 100,000 replacements, but more than 20,000 of those quit the same day they arrived when they discovered Foxconn had no intention of paying the salaries and bonuses they actually promised in their recruiting drive. CNN quoted Foxconn as saying this was “a glitch”, but it was no glitch. It was just a continuation of the sociopathic and psychopathic policies Apple and Foxconn have always followed in China. They didn’t quit because of COVID; they quit because they were once again lied to and cheated. Foxconn even offered a 38% pay increase, but no one believed them, and quit anyway.

The resentment appears to have reached a critical level that is contagious among all the staff, and there are now reports of many more resignations and what is essentially a strike by all the workers. And not before time. The Western media today are making a great effort to shift the blame to China by blaming the country’s COVID policies, but this is almost entirely irrelevant to the situation. COVID has made things a bit worse, but is in no way the cause of what is happening. The media reports are 98% rubbish, so much so that I won’t even bother trying to refute them. Here are links to some of them. Read, and decide for yourself. Believe whatever pleases you.[1]Apple’s Reliance on China Grows Perilous With Chaos in iPhone City
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-25/c...20wall
[2]China Covid: Angry protests at giant iPhone factory in Zhengzhou
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-63725812
[3]Apple iPhone factory workers clash with police in China
https://www.ft.com/content/e917d76a-62af-4cfc-95d1-a...de4e84
[4]More than 20,000 new hires have left Apple supplier Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant in China, says report
https://indianexpress.com/article/world/china-apple-...88713/
[5]Workers flee China’s biggest iPhone factory over Covid outbreak
https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/01/tech/china-covid-...x.html
[6]Apple has a huge problem with an iPhone factory in China
https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/25/tech/apple-foxcon...x.html

This is an introduction to an article I have also submitted today, titled “Apple’s Rotten Core“, which is itself part of a series I am doing on criminal corporations. I have so far published only one, on P&G.[7]Criminal Corporations – Proctor & Gamble –Clean Face, Dirty Heart
https://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/en-larry...heart/
This one on Apple is the second in the series.

The situation is very bad, unethical, inhumane, and absolutely criminal, far worse than my brief description here would indicate. Readers may think this very mean-spirited of me, but I fervently hope Foxconn’s troubles (and Apple’s) are fatal, that the entire company collapses and ceases operation, and takes Apple with it. As I said at the outset, I have no disaffection for Apple’s products but, of all the Western criminal multi-national enterprises operating in the world today, Apple, at least in my opinion, is very near the top of the list and deserves extermination.

Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons).

His full archive can be seen at

https://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/ + https://www.moonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at:

[email protected]

Notes

[1] Apple’s Reliance on China Grows Perilous With Chaos in iPhone City
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-25/china-iphone-factory-tensions-flamed-by-xi-jinping-s-covid-zero-policy?leadSource=uverify%20wall

[2] China Covid: Angry protests at giant iPhone factory in Zhengzhou
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-63725812

[3] Apple iPhone factory workers clash with police in China
https://www.ft.com/content/e917d76a-62af-4cfc-95d1-aec67cde4e84

[4] More than 20,000 new hires have left Apple supplier Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant in China, says report
https://indianexpress.com/article/world/china-apple-supplier-foxconn-zhengzhou-plant-many-leave-8288713/

[5] Workers flee China’s biggest iPhone factory over Covid outbreak
https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/01/tech/china-covid-workers-zhengzhou-iphone-factory-hnk-intl/index.html

[6] Apple has a huge problem with an iPhone factory in China
https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/25/tech/apple-foxconn-iphone-supply-china-covid-intl-hnk/index.html

[7] Criminal Corporations – Proctor & Gamble –Clean Face, Dirty Heart
https://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/en-larry-romanoff-criminal-corporations-proctor-gamble-clean-face-dirty-heart/

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: American Media, Apple, China, China/America, Foxconn 
The China/America Series
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  1. Notsofast says:

    with the way huawei has been treated, being locked out of markets illegally and meng wanzhou being kidnapped by an international criminal cartel, one would think that the chinese government might demand foxxcon and apple pay a living wage to their employees. with all the western propaganda claiming china uses slave labor to pick cotton, simply turn the tables, as the western media couldn’t ignore something that could financially upend this behemoth.

    • Agree: Old Brown Fool
  2. Anon[550] • Disclaimer says:

    Based on past 20,000 word articles by ” Romanoff ” , I was under the impression the CCP pays by the word ? Did they switch to paying by the article ??

    • Agree: BuelahMan
    • Replies: @Republic
  3. Republic says:
    @Anon

    It takes an hour to read 20,000 words

  4. Rabea K says:

    Is Larry Romanoff the same person as Thorsten Pattberg?

    https://tinyurl.com/ar65x4ak

    This comes at a time when China is experiencing mass protests against the zero-c doctrine. Peking University and Tsinghua University students, for the first time since 1989, protest in silence against Chinese-Western decoupling.

    “The Western control over China is blatantly obvious. And because it is so blatant and obvious, you would be considered a baichi—an idiot—to speak about it. A baichi is a person who is oblivious to social conventions. Which makes him a tragic hero, to some. But more generally speaking, an idiot does more damage than good to a harmonious society. If the baichi does not die from immediate consequences, he transforms into a huairen or bad person. In the West we would call him a villain. All the idiot heroes who point out the obvious situation that Chinese education is already westernized will be considered terrorists as well.

    Example. One baichi German guy at Beijing Foreign Language University pointed out that the 50,000 holders of the Chinese Government Scholarships (CSC) are NOT looked after by the Chinese side, and that the applications were pre-sorted and forwarded by Western governments. Two months later, the guy died in an accident.

    Most nationals do not realize this, but the West controls education globally. Not just all the standards. Not just the Anglo-Satan BA, MA, MBA, PhD degrees, publications, and university structures, but also international exchange, scholarship, and permissions. Chinese degrees, Benke, Shuoshi, Boshi, etc., on the other hand, are invalid.”

  5. Anonymous[156] • Disclaimer says:

    Chinese degrees, Benke, Shuoshi, Boshi, etc., on the other hand, are invalid.

    LOOOL!!

    Mainland Chinese are not the so-called Overseas Chinese “diaspora”.

    The Overseas Chinese care very greatly about credentials and validation by the Western establishment, like good little comprador wannabes. MBA this, PhD that, LSE, Max Planck, Caltech etc.

    The Mainlanders are focused on REALITY, and that means actual knowledge and capability, regardless of the Western gatekeepers. They know that Tsinghua, Beida, CAS and other Chinese institutions offer REAL tangible know-how that is objective, and can build nations (China being a case in point).

    So NO, the West does not control education globally. The West controls credentials globally, in the same way that Hollywood has a category of “Best Foreign Film” – said imprimatur meant to convey that a non-American film is “worthwhile” while at the same time serving as reminder that it is Hollywood that is the arbiter of “good taste”.

    Basically, the notion is utter b*llsh#t. And Mainland Chinese all know it.

    • Agree: Mary Marianne
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  6. @Anonymous

    The Mainlanders are focused on REALITY

    That’s why they’re pissed with FauXi Jinping.

    Imagine Dr. Fauci with autocratic power over an entire nation. That’s FauXi Jinping, whose Covid policy is totally crazy.

    When Covid was only in Wuhan, draconian measures were justified to contain it lest it spread. But the thing is Covid was not contained and spread all around the world. So, unless China were to be entirely sealed off from the world, Covid was going to re-enter China from the outside world. Then, the ONLY option was to slow the spread than try to eradicate it.

    But Xi the technocratic tyrant is still trying to do the impossible. Best way now is for natural immunity, but all the lockdowns prevented the spread of natural immunity in China.

    Xi has been compared with Mao, but they are different in one big way. Mao was crazy and murderous but he was tough and expected the Chinese people to weather the storms. In contrast, Xi seems to see Chinese as fragile creatures who can’t even survive a disease with very low mortality rate, especially for those under 60.

    Xi did some good things and could have been a good leader, but he threw it all away.

    People say China did right by keeping with autocracy, whereas Russia was devastated by ‘democracy’ in the 90s. But we are now seeing the benefits of Russia’s abandonment of the communist way. There’s less chance of the Russian government enforcing something so monumentally stupid as what the CCP has done in the past year.

  7. @Priss Factor

    That’s why they’re pissed with FauXi Jinping.

    They are now in a position to be “pissed with FauXi Jinping” because Xi had saved them from becoming Covid deaths– Un-like the million+ Covid dead in murrika, who CAN’T feel the same today!!

    • Replies: @Rob
  8. Rob says:
    @Deep Thought

    Different policies have different trafeoffs. Minimizing covid deaths might not maximize happiness/utility. Most urban Chinese people live in apartment buildings. Do you think that a bunch of people burning to death in an apartment fire because firefighters wouldn’t break COVID quarantine hits close to home?

    Whatever you think of America’s halfassed mix during COVID, we got through it without a revolution. What odds do you give for Xi staying in power or even the CCP? I’d give 50% and like 95%. As zero-COVID policies interrupt supply chains, the alphabet agencies are going to get involved. They probably can’t pull off very much in mainland China, but who is to say that there won’t be a charismatic Hong Konger who becomes the focus of international acclaim as the face and Chairman-in-waiting?

    I’m not sure why China won’t use BioNTech or Pfizer vaccines. Does our government stop it? Does theirs? My understanding is the Chinese vaccine is roughly 50% effective. Plus, there is presumably the standard Chinese level of fraudulent and adulterated product, which would maybe not be avoided with a Weatern import, but maybe they should try?

    • Replies: @d dan
    , @A B Coreopsis
  9. d dan says:
    @Rob

    “Different policies have different trafeoffs.”

    It is funny to listen to Westerners discussing about the “trafeoffs” [sic]. There is simply no choice (haha, lack of freedom to choose) in the West – they can’t implement the zero-Covid policy even if they want (too late, incompetent government, corruption, stupid people, lack of disciplines and no will for personal sacrifices, etc). So, for them to criticize Chinese policy sounds like sour grape – very sour grape.

    • Agree: Deep Thought
  10. @Priss Factor

    Compare score cards —–USA 1 million dead and 94 million infected. China —5,200 dead and 90,00 infected.

    Now do the reverse –IF USA had China’s figures –it would be all over China with accusations that China is slaughtering its citizens —where is the Lysol?

    Tankman –another fake production. Where is the follow up photo perhaps 10 seconds later of tankman under the tank–squished? There isn’t one –Reason –tank was in reverse.

    What is scary again is USA –94,000,000 have had Covid and now some 30ish age group infected have long term disability but can NOT qualify for long term disability benefits?

    Keep smiling –the game is not over yet and now to the Western Ukraine and those biological weapons labs.

  11. @Rob

    You pose this question as if you’re serious. Or possibly a treacherous Jew.

    The issues with the mRNA treatments is that they are experimental gene therapies, not vaccines.

  12. @Priss Factor

    Prissy is as expert on this subject as she is on, say, stationarity analysis in statistics. A complete inept.

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