iPhone and Wii U manufacturer, Foxconn, admits to employing children
Consumer electronics maker Foxconn Technology Group has admitted to employing children under the age of 16 in one of its Chinese factories. According to a report from Reuters, some "interns" at a plant in Yantai were found to be as young as 14. The legal working age in China is 16.
"Our investigation has shown that the interns in question, who ranged in age from 14 to 16, had worked in that campus for approximately three weeks," Foxconn said in a statement on Tuesday. "This is not only a violation of China's labor law, it is also a violation of Foxconn policy and immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their educational institutions."
Xinhua, the official news agency in China, claims that Foxconn resorted to underage employees to make up for a 19,000 employee shortage. Anonymous sources, according to Xinhua, state that as many as 56 children have returned home from the "internship program", which makes up 2.7% of Foxconn's 1.2 million person workforce.
Foxconn is Apple's largest manufacturing partner, although the Yantai plant does not make Apple products. The company, who also makes products for Dell, Sony, and Hewlett-Packard, found no evidence of similar violations at its other plants in China.
"However, we recognize that full responsibility for these violations rests with our company and we have apologized to each of the students for our role in this action," the firm said.
Foxconn has recently been hired by Nintendo to manufacture the Wii U, so we'll see how this effects the company's ability to produce enough Wii U's to keep up with the impending holiday demand.