Foxconn India-Apple issue: Exposing Chinese propaganda against Indian market
Foxconn has denied that there is any direct connection between the recruitment expansion in China and the developments in India
Chinese official mouthpiece Global Times has sought to cash in on the Foxconn India-Apple controversy by spreading propaganda against India and has cited poor working conditions in the country. The media outlet claimed that Foxconn -- a Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer -- was on a recruitment overdrive in the Chinese mainland with higher wages and bonuses.
To recall, Foxconn has been put on 'probation' of sorts by Apple after an audit found that the workers' dining rooms and dormitory accommodations did not meet the required standard. The manufacturing of Apple devices at the plant was halted on December 18.
Contrary to reports in the Chinese mouthpiece, Foxconn has denied that there is any direct connection between the recruitment expansion in China and the developments in India. In fact, Foxconn India has announced that all its staff will continue to be paid while necessary improvements are made prior to restarting operations.
Citing government payroll experts who claimed that the Sriperumbudur incident showed that India had a lot to improve to be a major manufacturing country, the Chinese propaganda outlet conveniently ignored the countless number of times its country has been found exposed with regard to labour rights violations. In fact, in 2010, the same company's unit in China had been rocked by a spate of employee suicides triggered by when harsh living and working conditions. Foxconn then was forced to revamp its operations.
Hundreds of temporary workers at Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant, who were promised cash bonuses amounting to 6,000 yuan per person if they worked 55 days, staged protests in December 2018 over non-payment of wages and bonuses by the recruitment agencies that employed them. A report by China Labour Watch in 2018 highlighted how the country's informal workers had been struggling due to long work hours, poor working conditions, unpaid wages and lack of employment contract, social insurance and rest days.
Just weeks ago, the the US House of Representatives cleared a legislation banning all products imported from China's Xinjiang region because of concerns about forced labour. The 'Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act' called out forced labour being perpetrated by the Chinese government in Xinjian where it has established a vast network of detention camps for Uyghurs and other Muslim groups.
However, ignoring its own hypocrisy, Chinese media has chosen the Sriperumbadur incident to claims that there exists a growing risk for foreign companies in India. It also resorted to fearmongering that the disruptions at the Foxconn India unit could delay Apple shipments of iPhones.