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Hardware Made in China: Tech, Ethics and Economics

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 1 Sep 2010.

  1. zoea

    zoea New Member

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    Brilliant material keep it up bit-tech :)
     
  2. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    My own understanding of yakyb's post was that he's fine paying more for some products, ones which already have low profit margins, but doesn't understand how Jobs can be comfortable with such a large profit margin and would prefer that Apple shoulder the increased price to pay for higher wages. IE: Asus makes 20% (just a random number less than 48) and Apple makes 48%. From my understanding of his post, he'd prefer that Apple not raise prices to cover wages until they were at or below 20% like Asus.

    For my own opinion, since I'm not in the market for an iPod/Pad I'll leave them out, I don't think it makes me much a bleeding heart to say I'd pay $601 rather than $600 for a new PC. It's hardly even saying I'll pay more, there's more of a difference in price just by driving to a different county and paying different taxes. Just a shame that so many prices are based around ending at nines. To up the price by $1 would push most products into a new hundred, marketing would never allow it.
     
  3. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    It's actually over 900,000. :thumb:
     
  4. SpeedyVV

    SpeedyVV New Member

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    "It’s the fear that in a factory of 70,000, or a city of 10 million, you could just disappear and no one would notice. Those are the things that eat away at the soul.â€￾

    That statement made my hair stand up. I hope the human spirit can prevail here, but man, it has to be really hard.
     
  5. SpeedyVV

    SpeedyVV New Member

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    Kudos for such a thorough article for such an important subject.

    I dont think that it is possible to understand something as big as the social political landscape of a country like China...but we have to be aware of it.
     
  6. Bumfluff101

    Bumfluff101 Member

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    +1 to that
     
  7. NoMercy

    NoMercy New Member

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    Wow, I'm not sure how you can be spoilt when your forcing yourself to work to insanity for $60 a month (from article, 900 yuan).

    Also innumerable numbers of these factory workers are from the rural lands, move out to the city, stay in company dorms and send money back home to there parents.
     
  8. MajestiX

    MajestiX New Member

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    @nomercy

    their life style can't not compare to yours, you do realize they can buy a mean for 1-5yuan while you don't get fed for anything under $5. They also don't pay as much tax as you hence have little government help if they are unemployed.

    These factories are the best things for them, else why would they leave home, travel far distances just to work?

    Western countries already had their industrial age where they abused the lower end workers factory workers and slave labours time before that, these countries are just going through the same period, it's just what happens in a free economy. At the rate the country is developing they will come out on top as long as this current market keeps up.
     
  9. Eurofix

    Eurofix New Member

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    I agree with MajestiX. During the industrial revolution in the 19th century, it was OK to have 10 year old children working in mines and factories in UK and France and so on. As time went by, those societies became more sophisticated and standards have changed for the better.
    Give China another 50 years or so and we might see some good improvement in the treatment of workers over there.
    Thats how the world works. After all China abandoned Communism which failed its people completely and left their economy in ruins.
     
  10. Apoptosis

    Apoptosis New Member

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    Thank you for such an enlightened article. Perhaps in future we could see an article on the impact of the tech industry on the environment?
     
  11. Repr

    Repr New Member

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    +2 here. great article
     
  12. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    It just changed it's economics...still communists though :D
    Same as Vietnam, they're de-facto kapitalist-communists.
    Don't mistake economic for political freedom though. :eyebrow:
     
  13. Sifter3000

    Sifter3000 I used to be somebody

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    Indeed, very true.
     
  14. jimmyjj

    jimmyjj Member

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    Easy to say just give it another 50 years, but people are living and working (and dieing) in horrendous conditions right now.

    The article is sad, but the reality is that their conditions are paradise compared to other factories in other countries. The human cost of our cheap goods should make us disgusted with ourselves, but everyone is guilty of conveniently forgetting this fact (most certainly myself).

    We have our own day to day problems that take our time and attention. Plus many of us have tight budgets, and can not afford to take the moral high ground when we shop.

    Someone mentioned when was the last time I looked at a label. Honestly, not very often.

    It is such a complex problem that there is no easy solution, but I think if consumers take a stand and try to shop more ethically then that is a start.

    However, I do believe it should be the responsibility of those who are lucky enough to be incredibly rich and powerful to help change our world for the better. Industrialists such as Steve Jobs (and yes he is but one example) who have made their incredible fortunes on the back of human misery should look in the mirror and feel terrible shame.

    It is not enough to give a few big ones to charity and give yourself a massive pat on the back, you need to change the entire ethical stance of how you do business and encourage others to follow suit.

    It is easy to pick on Apple simply because they are well known. However they also pump out the largest amount of bullsh!t about how great they are, so they deserve to take a good beating over this.
     
  15. Submerged_2010

    Submerged_2010 New Member

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    Just to say, that it was a very useful article on the way things are happening in China

    I also have had personal experience in China as I was in Shanghai for six months doing teaching work. I had also went to Shenzhen to purchase some computer components as well. I had known about the suicides and everything about Shenzhen as it was very big news in China (relatively speaking, for a controlled new agency) but the feeling was, the government did want to let people know about the problems and causes of it, hence why it was in the news in the first place...

    Anyway, I had managed to befriend someone in Shenzhen who was working in a different sector to computing (something to do with water filtration systems) as a administrative position, but with the ability to converse and write in English (quite highly prized). She lived in the accommodation blocks that they provide for their workers. In it, was basically a bare room, with one bed. With a mattress. She had a toilet and a shower and a sink in a room next door. That was it. No washing machine. No cookery (food was provided). No fridge. No freezer. Only way to cool down was fans, which just blew hot air everywhere. Her colleague who just did adminstration on Excel, shared it with two other people and they had bunk beds. With no mattress, just a plywood board and their own sleeping bags. I asked why my friend got a mattress. Because my friend was working in a more prestigious field from merely administration duties, she got extra comfort and so on. Apparently. This was difficult for me to understand, that a major company could not even think to buy a standard mattress for all their workers even though they had provided bed frames? And only allowed certain workers with desired skills a mattress to sleep well, while making the rest of the workforce suffer and perform badly? It was madness to me, but to them, it was something that was expected.

    So yeah, they're the lucky ones with jobs as to get work is so competitive in China.

    Addtiionally, there will be upheavals happening in China soon, not in terms of electronic industry and higher wages, but a general betterment (for want of a better word) of their society and their environments, in terms of wages, better working conditions, better lifestyle, better air quality and so on.

    Traffic's still a nightmare though....
     
  16. kgwagner

    kgwagner New Member

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    This is simply sensationalism to forward somebody's agenda. That suicide rate is actually quite low. The annual suicide rate in the US is 10.6/100,000 people, yielding ~30,000 suicides per year. Going by that, the suicide rate for Foxcon should be much higher than it is, probably around double. The real question shouldn't be why it's as high as it is, but why it's so low.
     
  17. Submerged_2010

    Submerged_2010 New Member

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    ....kgwagner, I am sure that is for the whole country in America. This article is referring to a specific industry in China and why there were a lot of media interest in this particular case by the Western media, mainly to do with Foxconn customers. Also, it gives a very useful backstory to the whole computer industry in China and how business is (generally) conducted there.

    I mean, China's basically 6,000 miles away! We don't know anything about them, basically! Apart from the fact that they are the biggest makers of computer components, a vast majority of what we buy comes from there for a low price. We do not even know how they are able to offer a lower price (apart from the very general term of "economies of scale" which doesn't really tell you much) and still have people being able to live, eat and have shelter....This article just explains and makes clear how this is possible without posting incredible losses.

    I will tell you, at my time in China working in a school, there were quite a few attacks on schoolchildren by madmen wielding knives and going on a stabbing rampage in different areas of China (not Shanghai).

    Plus, China has a totally different culture to America. They are not really a culture given to having suicides I feel. If anything, they are more likely to lash out or just go on rampages rather than take suicides, from what I feel (which is my opinion, which may be wrong). Often, there are many things that happens that are not reported either.
     
  18. kgwagner

    kgwagner New Member

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    I wasn't finding fault with this article so much as the media attention to the situation in the first place. Somebody is driving this for reasons that aren't clear.

    If you don't do any research, the situation sounds deplorable, as if Foxconn is somehow forcing their employees into depressions so deep that death seems like an attractive option. But, once you know that Foxconn's suicide rate only a little over 4/100,000 people (annualized), while ours is over 10/100,000 people, that means companies like Westinghouse, Ford Motor Company, Kodak, Microsoft, Walmart, Dell, etc. are killing people off at more than double the rate Foxconn is. Why aren't there any articles about those companies?

    I've never been to China, but my understanding is the US is a nicer place to live for a wide variety of reasons and the people are supposedly happier. So... WTF?

    The media is being manipulated to propagate a negative impression on the general population about one of China's major industries for some reason, which is incredibly easy since people rarely do any fact-checking of their own. In fact, the media often doesn't do any fact-checking; they just shovel along what ever swill flows their way. The question is, who's doing it? And why? There's certainly no competition here who could benefit from it.
     
  19. HourBeforeDawn

    HourBeforeDawn a.k.a KazeModz

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    Shouldnt that say "For the very few, fortunes have been made; for the very many others, dreams and families have been crushed."

    Seriously and people wonder why the world economy is doing so horrible, like that one video about walmart stated their is a high price to pay for low prices....
     
  20. blackworx

    blackworx Cable Wrangler

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