Tag Archives: Foxconn

Greg Autry Speaking on Death by China, at UC Irvine, March 21

Co-author of Death by China, Greg Autry will be speaking on China Wednesday evening at 6:00PM at the UC Irvine Student Center on Wednesday, March 21.

A Merage Alum and former lecturer in strategy and macroeconomics, Greg will be present an insightful program looking at the impact of China’s rise on America’s business, economic and military fortunes.

Greg has published in many newspapers including the LA Times, SF Chronicle, San Diego Tribune, and OC Register. He has a regular blog on the Huffington Post.

Dedicated to recapturing America’s critical manufacturing supply chain, Greg serves as Senior Economist for the American Jobs Alliance. 

Greg is a fierce advocate of free speech and human rights and has addressed many Chinese dissident groups. He has spoken at the Canadian Parliment on Chinese Perception Management and will be testifying to the U.S. Congress this month on that issue as well.

Greg will also be including videos and some surprisingly different insights from his visit to the infamous Foxconn City factory in Shenzhen. (you may be surprised to find out why he says “It’s the best factory in China”)

The event is hosted by the The Berkeley-Haas, UCLA Anderson, and UCI-Merage Alumni Networks.

Discounted pre-registration and additional info can be found at: http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/alum-event-details.xml?eid=3156

The UC Irvine Student Center is located at Campus and W. Peltason Drive in Irvine. Here is a map:

Additional campus maps and directions can be found here: http://www.uci.edu/campus_maps.php


Memo to Apple CEO: Stop trashing the environment for profit



In another installment of what Nightline missed in their “exclusive” Foxconn City visit we look at the unsavory way the Chinese Communist Party uses environmental abuse as an economic weapon against the West.

We’ve said before, Apple does indeed make insanely great products. This blog is written on a Mac and the video below was edited on one. Taiwanese-managed Foxconn manufacturers them to a standard far above the normal crap we get from communist China. We have a great deal of respect for Apple’s brilliant business strategy and the business acumen of Hon Hai’s (Foxconn) inspirational founder, Terry Guo. That said, all is not well in the Middle Kingdom.

Foxconn and Apple have chosen to operate inside this Orwellian gulag of a nation in order to increase their short term profits. The fact that Apple and Foxconn folks sincerely care about the environment makes it all the worse, because by doing business in communist China they fund, empower and legitimize a system that is inherently evil. Clearly neither of these firms gives a damn about the unemployed and underemployed American workers (and Taiwanese ones) who cannot compete against a country whose brutal rulers secretly advocate environmental abuse while running a big lie propaganda campaign to paint themselves green. While they are far from alone and far from the most culpable Cook and Guo are the visible leaders in the global race to the bottom of environmental standards.

Check this out:



Or watch the video on our YouTube Channel


If you don’t like what you’ve just seen and heard, please forward it to anyone you know at Apple as well as to your US Congressperson and Senator. Do it over and over again until they finally get it. If you own Apple stock (like I do) please send a note to CEO Tim Cook telling him that you’d sleep better at night if you weren’t contributing to the destruction of the Earth and if your neighbors had jobs.

– Greg Autry teaches Macroeconomics at the Merage School of Business, UC Irvine and is co-author with Peter Navarro of “Death by China” and serves as senior economist for the American Jobs Alliance.

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Memo to Tim Cook: Foxconn is Not your Problem, Selling out American Workers is



The Nightline whitewash of Apple’s China relationship left us puzzled. What just happened here? Why didn’t this guy ask any real questions?

As we’ve mentioned Foxconn is probably the best factory in China. The suicide rate there is below China’s notorious national average and the issue of whether their employees are any older than Chinese Olympic gymnastics team doesn’t concern most unemployed Californians.

What should really concern Americans is succinctly summed up in this discussion I had with a Foxconn manager inside Foxconn City a year before Nightline’s “exclusive.” I spent a day there too, had the tour, talked to folks and was allowed to film too. However, I actually asked some informed questions. Want to know why most Apple jobs are in Guangdong Province rather than California? Ask and you’ll find out that it ain’t low cost labor (heck they’ve doubled salaries), its Chinese government policy that is gutting America. Check this out:



Or watch the video on our YouTube Channel


If you don’t like what you just saw and heard, please forward it to your US Congressperson and Senator, over and over again until they finally get it. If you own Apple stock (like I do) please send a note to CEO Tim Cook you’re not so worried about what goes on in Shenzhen, but you’d sleep better at night if your neighbors had jobs.

– Greg Autry teaches Macroeconomics at the Merage School of Business, UC Irvine and is co-author with Peter Navarro of “Death by China” and serves as senior economist for the American Jobs Alliance.

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Foxconn and The Fruit of Evil

Apple has been running for cover from harsh criticism of labor conditions at the controversial “Foxconn City” (Hon Hai Precision) assembly plant in Shenzhen, China. Basically all of Apple’s products are made at this giant factory and at another Foxconn facility in Chengdu. Suicides at that facility and reports of underage and over-worked assemblers have driven the California firm to publicize compliance audits and recently announce third party audits. The issue has grown to the point where Nightline is running special report on the subject. All of this misses the point that Apple’s real problem is not Foxconn, Apple’s problem is China.

Foxconn City isn’t quite the “Fear Factory” featured on The Daily Show.
I’ve been inside, and frankly it is the best factory I have ever seen in China. It’s clean and well organized. The workers are well fed and housed. Their physical working and living conditions are not the Dickensian ones so common in modern China. That said, I don’t doubt there are under-aged workers there or that the staff is pushed into long shifts to meet the punishing demands of American consumers hell bent on getting even more stuff for even less next Black Friday.

However, the “suicide nets” are all too real.
Every building from dormitory to snack shop to factory is festooned with the ubiquitous webs designed to catch plummeting Foxconn employees. After sitting in the Hon Hai executive conference room and listening to presentations from the corporate responsibility folks and reviewing reports from psychologists on the suicides, I believe these managers were genuinely concerned. Obviously, no firm wants trained workers killing themselves and yet it has happened there with frightening regularity. Why, If this is the nicest factory in China, are those ghoulish nets required?

Well firstly, there is the standard modern Chinese workload: twelve plus hours a day, six or seven days a week, fifty or fifty-one weeks per year. This isn’t some extreme Foxconn or Apple standard, this is normality for China’s workers. If they didn’t like it and organized a labor action or union, the police would beat them into submission. If they publicly protested or editorialized against such treatment they’d be jailed or much worse. That’s not Foxconn or Apple, that’s just how communist China rolls.

Then there are the living arrangements.
The dorms at Foxconn are a bit crowded, but they are in modern high-rise structures that resemble American apartment complexes — albeit with four to eight men or women jammed into 10ft. x15ft. rooms.

There are even swimming pools and gyms, though I saw no one in these facilities and they were so pristine it looked as if nobody has much time to. That’s still way sweet by Chinese standards.

So why the suicides?
The answer that is so elusive for the Foxconn psychologists was starkly obvious to me. These nifty dorms are sex segregated. When I asked the delicate question of “what if a man and women wish to spend sometime together” the immediate response was “That is not allowed!” To put it bluntly, in China an employer can decide that 150,000+ 17 to 25 year olds will not be able to act on their most fundamental natural desires in a situation where marriage is nearly impossible to obtain or maintain. Again, this is not Foxconn or Apple, this is a broken national culture that has replaced Chinese tradition and all human decency with a twisted form of Communism.

This is a system where the “one child” policy denies reproductive rights to more than six hundred million women. It is a system that rips young people away from their families and customary social structures and ships them like chattel to factories thousands of miles away to better serve Beijing’s engine of state capitalism. It is a system that massively pollutes China’s environment in order to steal jobs from American workers and grab market share from American firms. It is a system that funds the largest military build up of a totalitarian regime since the 1930s.

This systemic Chinese problem that cannot be fixed by investigating, auditing, or even opening up Foxconn, or any other Chinese factory. Apple can never be compliant with any objective standard of social responsibility as long as it chooses to be dependent on the politically repressed labor of totalitarian dictatorship. Of course, this wasn’t a problem when Apple both designed and made its wares in California.

– Greg Autry teaches Macroeconomics at the Merage School of Business, UC Irvine and is co-author (with Peter Navarro) of “Death by China” www.gregautry.us and serves as senior economist for the American Jobs Alliance.

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