When Child Labor Isn’t Child Labor, and ‘Underage Labor’ is Just Something You Say.

What motivates an activist to exaggerate and even lie about the conditions in which Chinese laborers live and work? Like many, I first pondered this question after hearing Mike Daisey’s infamous This American Life episode. And, like many, I never thought that others would dare follow in his dishonest footsteps. Then I came across China Labor Watch (or…

What Henry Blodget Didn’t Get About Foxconn

On Friday, China Labor Watch, a New York-based NGO that claims to be “dedicated to promoting workers’ fair redistribution of wealth under globalization,” announced that a “large-scale strike” had shut down a Foxconn factory that manufactures the iPhone 5. The group didn’t cite its sources for the story, but that didn’t stop several major news organizations…

The Labor Activist Who Just Can’t Do It Without His iPhone. [Updated, with a response to critics.]

OR “Is Mike Daisey Actually a Guerilla Marketer in the Employ of Apple?” ————————- Late last week activists delivered 250,000 signatures demanding that Apple improve working conditions for workers employed by its Chinese manufacturers. One of those petitions, organized by change.org, specifically cited the American radio program, This American Life, and a segment that it…

The aging face of what we think of when we think of Chinese labor.

Below, a photo of a metal sorter in Jiangsu Province, China. To those who don’t recognize what she’s doing, it may look like she’s sorting garbage. To those who do, they know that she’s a semi-skilled laborer who can distinguish different types of metal by sight and feel. That job description doesn’t generate much respect…

Get Your Used (stolen?) iPhones at Best Buy Shanghai (Xujiahui, 3rd floor)

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday shopping rush I come across evidence that at least one high-profile US-based entry into China’s cut-throat, price-sensitive retail market isn’t working out exactly as planned. I’m talking about Best Buy, North America’s largest electronics retailer. Three years ago they entered the Chinese market with plans to counter China’s…

Why are the fanboys rushing to defend Apple’s child labor record?

[UPDATE: Outside of the Chinese media and the Daily Telegraph, it seems like nobody is particularly interested in covering Apple’s child labor record. TechNewsWorld takes a hard look at why, and comes down hard on a compliant, Apple-infatuated media.] Spend any time reading online technology reviews and you’ve inevitably come across the Apple Fanboys –…