Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple's Chinese Suppliers Accused of Causing Significant Environmental Damage

Unknown Lamer posted more than 3 years ago | from the spoonfull-of-mercury dept.

China 346

itwbennett writes "Environmental watchdog groups in China on Wednesday released a report detailing a 5-month investigation on electronic suppliers that they believe are used by Apple. According to the report, accessory manufacturer Kaedar Electronics and printed circuit board maker Unimicron have allegedly been discharging waste water and harmful gas from their plants in the Chinese city of Kunshan. The report claims that over a 10-year period, 'many people have fallen sick, with a sharp increase in the village's cancer rates.' Since 2007, more than nine people have suffered or died from cancer in the village, which has a population of fewer than 60. Apple declined to say if the companies named were in fact its suppliers, but company spokeswoman Carolyn Wu, responding to the report, said, 'Apple is committed to driving the highest standards of social responsibility throughout our supply base.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Low prices or pollution in China. (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266030)

American consumers have made their choice a long time ago.

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266076)

Low prices or pollution in China

I think you meant to say "High prices or pollution in China"

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (0)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266868)

Really? Care to guess a guess at the cost of an iPhone that had everything it is made from manufactured in say California a state that has some of the most stringent environmental laws in the entire world?

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (5, Insightful)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266292)

Low prices or pollution in China..

With Apple you get high prices AND pollution in China. :p

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266314)

It is called making a dent in the universe baby!

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266448)

I read somewhere that an iPad made in the US would cost roughly $14,000. So I'd say their stuff is still pretty cheap.

That's retarded. (2)

Brannon (221550) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266602)

Does that make any sense to you at all?

There are cars made in the US which cost less than $14,000. Do you believe everything you read on the internet?

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (3, Insightful)

nharmon (97591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266352)

Please. More like: Unemployment or pollution in China; Chinese people have made their choice a long time ago.

China knows what increasing environmental standards will do to them. It is the same thing they did to us: shift manufacturing elsewhere. That is not to say they should not raise their standards; but it is hard to ignore the costs of doing so.

Placing this on the shoulder of American consumers ignores the fact that if Americans did not demand low prices, much of that manufacturing would have stayed in America.

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266476)

Hey, guess what? the world is finite. Raise standard everywhere, and compete no manufacturing quality.

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (1)

nharmon (97591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266540)

That is the best long-term global strategy, but in the long-term we're all dead.

In the mean time you have to expect that developing countries are going to go lax on their environmental standards for a time so that they can catch up.

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (5, Interesting)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266654)

Well, the problem is, when it IS cheaper to build somewhere else because you don't have to worry about pesky things like child labor, and environmental issues, then yeah. It is HARD to IMPOSSIBLE to compete when the playing field is not level. THIS is why everyone left for China.

And you can thank all the people who wanted to normalize relations and "free" trade with China. Both (R) and (D) parties are to blame here, because both don't give a real shit about LIBERTY. Mainly because they don't understand Liberty and are mired in Group Politics and class warfare debates, while liberties are being systematically removed.

To fix this problem, we have to DEMAND that imported goods are manufactured under the same rules and regulations required by US law, and charge import duties or refuse entry for all products that do not comply with US Law. Fair Trade, not Free Trade. We cannot impose our laws on others, we can only enforce them at our borders.

And, if YOU are not willing to demand such action, then you cannot complain about the results such as the one mentioned in the article. People are buying from China (and other places) and when people do, they're part of the problem. There is no way a US manufacturer can make a product in the US, and compete against low wage, lax environmental laws and lack of regulation.

You want to fix the problem fix the two party system that enables it.

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266688)

I'd guess that labor costs, fire escapes, handicap accessibility and various other factors work into that whole equation too.

Short of making it US law that every part of a product must be manufactured somewhere that meets US health, safety, labor and environmental laws, you'd never get around it. And that would be disastrous for the US.

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (3, Insightful)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266384)

Consumers did not make that choice. American businesses made their choice a long time ago.

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266692)

This is the problem of the group thinking. Consumers are Businesses, and Businesses are consumers . YOU are both. Unless you work for the government, in which case you live off of businesses and consumers taxes.

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266432)

And, in fairness, China has chosen between industry with little or no controls, and pollution/the environment.

For the same reason that a lot of Chinese children fell ill when their milk powder was laced with melamine [telegraph.co.uk] ... because there are either no controls, or it's really easy to bypass them. Ultimately, they exported this to us as pet food [usatoday.com] .

Hell, even if Apple (or whoever) had stipulated that they do it all according to the book because they wanted to be ethical, there's no guarantee it would have happened. China is more or less completely unregulated capitalism run amok. I must say, I am completely unsurprised by any of this.

And, really, pretty much anywhere in the world, industry will consistently do things like this if nobody is doing an effective job of policing them ... greed and short cuts for profit know no cultural boundaries.

Corporations in America would burn kittens, babies, and the flag for fuel if it was cost effective and nobody stopped them. Especially if you could bribe the people who were supposed to keep you honest.

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266608)

Oh no. Don't lay this on consumers. The purpose of companies is to make profit for shareholders within bounds of the law. Period. The purpose of companies is not to be stewards to environment. It is not to make employees rich. It is to make money for shareholders.

The purpose of governments is to lay down regulations under which these corporations operate. This includes working conditions, wage standards, and yes, it also includes environmental standards.

It is China's government that is to be blamed for their pollution. They chose to mortgage China's future health to gain current economic growth.

I can give you examples of when a western company would build water treatment to remove 99+% of all contaminants in the water before discharging that water back to environment. Some would even build 100% water recycling - basically all their waste water would be recycled back. But do the Chinese officials care?? Hell no!! It is actually a wasted effort and negative for shareholders to have these capital expenditures because there is no ROI.

I remember a few years ago when some mines in Chile had to upgrade their processing to include concentrators to reduce water usage by 80-90%. That was a capital expenditure and it was only built because the government set up a new laws that required to reduce water usage in mining operations. And this is what the government should be doing. Imposing laws to protect the environment.

This has nothing to do with Apple. This has everything to do with China.

BTW, I'm not an Apple fanboy and I think Apple products are significantly overpriced.

Re:Low prices or pollution in China. (-1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266786)

Yes I have. Haven't bought an Apple product in 15 years. Haven't felt deprived in the least. Pretty sure I'm not the only one who won't buy Apple, for a variety of reasons either.

And I can't control what the masses do, only what I do. Doing things "for the right reasons" often puts a person in the minority.

After Jobs.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266042)

You see, just like in the bible, after Jobs, flood.....

Re:After Jobs.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266106)

You see, just like in the bible, after Jobs, flood.....

DO NOT FEED THE BIBLE TROLL

Apple cares only about profit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266070)

Apple doesn't care about the planet or slave labor so long as they can make a profit. That has been the goal of Apple since Steve took over, and that's part of the reason I don't buy Apple.

Re:Apple cares only about profit (5, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266160)

Apple doesn't care about the planet or slave labor so long as they can make a profit. That has been the goal of Apple since Steve took over, and that's part of the reason I don't buy Apple.

A good and proper reason to boycott a corporation. The problem is ALL corporations are like that, you have to get your hardware somehow, so bending your principles with Apple or some other equally guilty company is six of one...

Re:Apple cares only about profit (0)

nicholas22 (1945330) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266446)

Sorry but no, not all corporations are like that. In fact, there are many corporations that put environmental and social responsibilities first. And also no to your second argument, voting with your wallet actually does work. I don't know if you're an Apple consumer or just naive, but these are facts.

Name a single computer manufacturer (2)

Brannon (221550) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266626)

who "puts environmental and social rsponsibilities" first.

No? Then shut up.

Re:Apple cares only about profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266568)

All corporations are like that because those that weren't have gone out of business, because no one would pay their prices. Of course all that happened in the buggy whip days, but the lesson stuck.

Slashdot loves to blame companies for all the world's ills, but aside from a minor amount of taste making, individual purchasers made all those decisions a long time ago. This is the same group that didn't buy HP Touchpads upon release, but when gonzo crazy when they were $99.

Re:Apple cares only about profit (0)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266282)

As Tim Cook was the COO I dont see that changing much.

Besides, China is supposed to be Communist... They still have The Party... It would seem like if the workers complained about conditions and evviroment the party would do something for them. It's the PEOPLE'S Republic so they must be fine.

Re:Apple cares only about profit (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266592)

Besides, China is supposed to be Communist... They still have The Party

China seems to be fascists for most things, and then unregulated capitalists for their economy.

So, the worst of both possible systems seems to be what they've evolved into. I don't think they can be truly called Communists in any meaningful sense of the word.

Re:Apple cares only about profit (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266834)

I don't think they can be truly called Communists in any meaningful sense of the word.

Well, except in the 'what communism means in the real world rather than some happy fluffy fantasy where human nature doesn't exist' sense.

Re:Apple cares only about profit (2)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266474)

Corporations don't care about the planet or slave labor so long as they can make a profit.

FTFY. This is not unique to Apple in the slightest, and I somehow doubt that these suppliers make goods strictly for Apple and no one else. It's like people bashing Apple over Foxconn and completely ignoring that the entire damned computer industry gets their goods from either Foxconn or other cheap Chinese labor.

Likely some are suppliers? (1)

bioster (2042418) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266092)

Apple declined to say if the companies named were in fact its suppliers"

Well, that seems like a fairly damning statement. I'm sure Apple (or any other company) would be falling over themselves to deny they were involved with the named supplies if they could.

Re:Likely some are suppliers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266530)

I can see why Apple's PR didn't do a blanket denial. Apple might use that company as a supplier but not necessarily the factories in question or one of the companies could be a subcontractor (so Apple might not list them as their immediate supplier).

The accusations are pretty horrifying and Apple needs to do more than issue PR statements.

Re:Likely some are suppliers? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266534)

Not Apple. Apple plays everything that isn't specifically outlined on the marketing and image.

Look at green computers.

Apple has the greenest computer in the world; however that wasn't in the marketing and image policies, so they didn't mention it until green peace called them the dirtiest computer. Why did that joke of an organization call Apple computers the dirtiest? because Apple didn't talk about their process on their web site.

Re:Likely some are suppliers? (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266870)

One of the traits of Apple is they don't talk to the press unless they are launching a product immediately. Apple is notoriously secret about many things; it wasn't a priority for them to disclose future plans of anything. Now bear in mind, Greenpeace cited Apple not for that they were doing or not doing in terms of environmental concerns. It's that Apple didn't publicly announce what they were going to do in the future concerning the environment.

The Question Is +5, Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266096)

Will Apple blend [youtube.com] ?

Yours In Beijing,
Kilgore Trout

How does this compare to the US? (2)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266098)

From the article.

"Apple does this by regularly conducting audits and working with suppliers to correct violations, according to the company's 2011 supplier responsibility progress report. In 2010, the company audited 127 facilities and found that 89% of them had waste water management practices in compliance with Apple's requirements.

The same audits, however, found that only 69% of the facilities were in compliance with air emission management standards. Only 70% of the facilities were in compliance for environmental permits and reporting. When violations are found, Apple requires the supplier to complete plans to resolve the problem 90 days after the audit."

Do we have 100% compliance in the states? How does this compare to US rates?

Re:How does this compare to the US? (2)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266238)

In the US its more than just apple doing the audit. I don't know how Apple's standards compare to the EPA standards, but much of this would be illegal in this country and it wouldn't really be up to Apple to police it.

It's good to hear about an active environmental group in China though. With time, hopefully there will be change. It will mean more expensive hardware, but that is inevitable.

Re:How does this compare to the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266312)

Sure we have 100% compliance in the states, except that would be 100% compliance at the 0 facilities still remaining in the US.

Again Apples business (3, Interesting)

networkconsultant (1224452) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266102)

1. Fabricate an Icon 2. Market Said Icon 3. Move all manufacturing of said Icon to the lowest (and therefore dirtiest place) on the planet. We don't manufacture anything in North America anymore because we have environmental regulations that cost billions of dollars to comply with; china has some regulations but it's always cheaper to bribe the party member than pay the bill. I wonder if the Chinese people know they are poising their own back yard? that's why we have said expensive regulations.

Re:Again Apples business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266196)

Of course the Chinese people know that their backyard is being poisoned. Its however not the bribed official's backyard and just ask amnesty international how protesting the government is working out for the average Chinese citizen.

Re:Again Apples business (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266338)

We don't manufacture anything in North America anymore because we have environmental regulations that cost billions of dollars to comply with.

That's one reason, I doubt it's the main reason. It's cheaper to produce things in China for many reasons, mainly labour.

So this is how Reagan's trickle down economics work, give companies huge tax breaks, many pay no taxes at all, and that money will trickle down, as we have seen above, to... China.

So much for that theory.

Re:Again Apples business (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266436)

That's one reason, I doubt it's the main reason. It's cheaper to produce things in China for many reasons, mainly labour.

You'd be surprised. Labour is cheap in China, but it's also a very small part of the total cost. Foxconn is now moving towards using robotic factories instead of employing cheap labour, which makes the differential even lower. On the other hand, being able to dump your waste in the nearest river, instead of containing it and paying for it to be processed is a significant cost.

Re:Again Apples business (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266594)

Your logic is missing. If labor is a very small part of the total cost, Foxconn would be looking at something other than robots to reduce costs.

Re:Again Apples business (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266422)

Yeah, because we NEVER bribe party members here in the US. It's not bribery only because we call it a PAC, but it's the same thing. "Here congress critter, have some money, but only if you vote the way we want you to."

Re:Again Apples business (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266618)

That's not a PAC, and that's not how ti works. It's not the same as bribary.

“If you can't take their money, drink their booze, eat their food, screw their women, and vote against them, you don't belong here.” - Jesse M. Unruh

Are their problem with a PAC? yes. Is it the same as bribary? no. If it was there wouldn't be an EPA, minimum wage, women rights, black voters, and so on.

Re:Again Apples business (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266680)

My last company (giant defense contractor) had a PAC and it was straight up bribery. They browbeat us to contribute a percentage of our pay to the PAC, then they use that money to give to politicians who promise to vote for things that are in the best interest of the Defense Industry. How is that not bribery?

Re:Again Apples business (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266624)

We don't manufacture anything in North America anymore because we have environmental regulations that cost billions of dollars to comply with;

I find it hard to believe that nothing is manufactured in North America anymore given that the US is the largest manufacturer in the world (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_country_has_the_largest_manufacturing_industry_in_the_world).

Of course they're going to deny it. (2)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266108)

With a phrase like "Apple is committed to driving the highest standards of social responsibility throughout our supply base," that's basically a free ticket to PR/Plausible Deniability, whether their company is linked to the supplier or not. Of course, none of this really matters, because the parts have to come from somewhere, and China happens to have the largest concentration of rare earths.

Re:Of course they're going to deny it. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266628)

not true, they can just mine them in a way that's cheap.

Re:Of course they're going to deny it. (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266714)

I never said the method of extracting rare earths was expensive. I'm just saying that Apple (much like any other company) would deny ties with the supplier for parts when something like this comes to light. It's called "Bad PR" for a reason.

They love to beat on Apple, don't they? (4, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266136)

How many computer or electronic device makers have Chinese plants producing their circuit boards for them? Last I checked, Apple was only one of MANY. Yet this article makes it sound like Apple, alone, is at fault here for not making good on their claim that they're committed to driving the highest standards of social responsibility throughout their supply base.

Let's face the facts. Only *China* can take care of pollution in China. If their government doesn't consider it important for businesses operating there not to dump hazardous waste into their ground-water, that's the decision they've made on behalf of their citizens.

When you do business with China, you accept many pros and cons. For example, as Apple is finding out, China also has little regard for intellectual property and copyright -- so plenty of jobs are being created by way of counterfeiting Apple's products and tarnishing their reputation/good name. Again, as much as Apple may be committed to ensuring their intellectual property is protected, they can only do what the Chinese government is WILLING to do for them in those regards, in their nation.

Re:They love to beat on Apple, don't they? (3, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266252)

"Let's face the facts. Only *China* can take care of pollution in China."

Yes, wer'e all powerless to be informed consumers. All we can do is give companies money for shiny things and leave the consequences up to others. Its clearly unpossible for tech companies to move manufacturing to countries with regulations or to just not act like asses when they set up their foreign subsidiaries.

Re:They love to beat on Apple, don't they? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266404)

The point he was making was that yes, you are indeed powerless, as all companies do this. In fact, I would bet heavily that most companies don't have the auditing process apple has set up that's mentioned in TFA.

Re:They love to beat on Apple, don't they? (1, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266642)

Yes, wer'e all powerless to be informed consumers. All we can do is give companies money for shiny things and leave the consequences up to others.

Actually, we are fairly powerless.

For instance: Let's say there are 10 suppliers of consumer desktops capable of running my software of choice at an acceptable level of performance. Now, all those suppliers need a supplier of memory chips, so they all go out to the free market looking for memory chip manufacturers, and find that they're all, quite independently, talking to the 2-3 vendors of memory chips. Each memory chip manufacturer, in turn, is looking to keep the costs down, builds their factory in China because of the business-friendly laws and regulations and giant supply of workers. The factory management, trying to keep costs down to look good to their bosses, skirts and breaks even the loose environmental and labor laws that China imposes. Now, when I as a consumer go to buy a desktop to run my software of choice, I can choose from any of those 10 vendors, but all of them depend on the same 2-3 factories in China, so it doesn't matter at all (from an environmental and labor rights perspective) which one I choose.

Now, you might argue "well, somebody else could set up another environmentally-friendly factory elsewhere." And in theory they could. But in practice, they'd be driven out of business by somebody who uses the same low-cost factories as everyone else and performs a rubber-stamp audit that doesn't look too carefully so they can claim that they're environmentally friendly.

Behalf of their citizens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266328)

If their government doesn't consider it important for businesses operating there not to dump hazardous waste into their ground-water, that's the decision they've made on behalf of their citizens

You just said it was the chinese government that made the decision to allow pollution. But then you implied that it was the people themselves. So which is it? (Hint: A government and the people that government rules over are two very different entities, despite what governments have been telling us since the dawn of organized coercion.)

Re:They love to beat on Apple, don't they? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266410)

The only Foxconn employees who committed suicide were working Apple parts, or so /. tells me.

Re:They love to beat on Apple, don't they? (2)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266520)

Companies go after Apple because in the past Apple has actually taken steps to fix the problems. They put pressure on Foxconn after the negative publicity a couple of years ago. It's the same reason people go after Starbucks about Fair Trade Coffee, because those companies have an image and a consumer who actually care about those issues. They're not going to try to raise a big stink about Acer for instance, because it's not going to get much traction.

Re:They love to beat on Apple, don't they? (1)

Chibi (232518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266742)

Let's face the facts. Only *China* can take care of pollution in China.

I have some in-laws in South Korea. They've said that there is a yellow dust (smog? Something else?) that blows from China into South Korea. So, their pollution issues has an impact not only on themselves, but their neighbors as well. China isn't the only one guilty of this, but they're probably considered one of the worst offenders of this /anecdotal.

Re:They love to beat on Apple, don't they? (2)

timholman (71886) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266782)

How many computer or electronic device makers have Chinese plants producing their circuit boards for them? Last I checked, Apple was only one of MANY. Yet this article makes it sound like Apple, alone, is at fault here for not making good on their claim that they're committed to driving the highest standards of social responsibility throughout their supply base.

The reason that they are focusing on Apple is because Apple will not pay protection money to organizations like Greenpeace. When other computer companies are criticized by an environmental organization, they make large "donations" to that organization, and the press releases stop.

Apple refuses to pay the Danegeld, and in fact actually tries to do something about cleaning up their supply chain. Any way you cut it, China is an environmental nightmare, and everyone is contributing to the problem, but Apple is the main target because they won't "cooperate" with Greenpeace and their ilk.

china is the USA circa 50 years ago (2)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266142)

almost a century ago the europeans dumped their cheap manufacturing to the USA and by the 1960's parts of the USA were environmental nightmares. we fixed it with the EPA and a few laws, but a few morons actually want to bring this back to the USA.

  I live in NYC and parts of the city are still uninhabitable due to pollution years ago, the original polluters are long gone and anyone who builds will have to pay for the clean up. Jetblue paid tens of millions to clean up parts of JFK airport to build a new terminal.

at some point the chinese will wise up and stop allowing us to pollute their country

Re:china is the USA circa 50 years ago (1, Troll)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266204)

Also 50 years in the future if the anti-regulation, pro-corporation, anti-union types get their way.

Re:china is the USA circa 50 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266298)

like, the salt lakes.....they are simply too polluted, and will remain this way for a long long time.

Re:china is the USA circa 50 years ago (1)

tero (39203) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266346)

...and that's when production moves to Africa.

Re:china is the USA circa 50 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266858)

The Chinese are already there.

https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=chinese+investment+in+africa

Surprised? (0)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266164)

Why would anyone be surprised? That's why we moved our manufacturing over there. That and the child labor. *We* care about the environment and fair labor laws. Those godless commies are the awful ones.

Of course we're still the ones causing the pollution but it's ISEBY instead of our own.

JE EXCUSE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266168)

What is that french ??

Ungrateful peasants. (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266174)

They should be ashamed of rejecting Apple's gifts. iCancer is a truly aspirational lifestyle disease. The revolutionary unibody tumor construction, with the most advanced custom-vascularization in the industry(PC detractors might argue that these are just made of your own commodity cells these days; but it's the unique integration and superb resistance to apoptosis that really makes them special), and Apple's trademark 'It Just Hurts' UX design truly make this the disease to have.

Re:Ungrateful peasants. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266226)

"also found to have polluted a lake in the Chinese city of Wuhan with copper and nickel"

Seriously dude, you wonder if those peasants even know how much value has been added to their water.

Re:Ungrateful peasants. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266734)

It's too soon before Steve Jobs' death to be making jokes about iCancer, dude. Too soon.

In other news... (2)

rogueippacket (1977626) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266186)

In an effort to maintain their lowest-bid status with one of the world's most profitable technology companies, multiple Chinese manufacturers decide to reduce costs by cutting corners on safety. News at 11.

Name dropping for hits. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266188)

Another example of "apple name dropping" for hits and sensationalism. Unimicron's clients include HTC, Motorola, Sony, Gigabyte, etc.
Everything is made in China, and everyone of us -- Apple customer or otherwise -- is a party to whatever hells happen over there.

That's the beauty of globalization. (1)

pkbarbiedoll (851110) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266340)

As long as we can continue buying cheap electronic devices, we won't give two shits what happens to the countries or people who actually produce the goods. That's the beauty of globalization. We're so far removed from the actual costs of our insatiable appetite for cheap consumer goods, it never dawns on us that our comfort comes at the cost of another's cancer or starvation.

Re:Name dropping for hits. (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266430)

I dont see HTC flaunting how green and environment friendly they are.

Apple however does that on occasion.

So that's why (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266250)

Jobs got sick after visiting the place.

More "I hate Apple because" stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266256)

Everyone says Microsoft is unfairly targeted but that's not the case. Reading the summary you'd think Apple was the only ones involved. Most companies go to China do to a lack of environmental standards just like they did with Mexico in the 90s. The worst industry is probably the "recycling" that goes on. If you want to know who is guilty head down to your local Walmart store. China is going to pay a heavy price for turning a 100 years of the 20th century into a decade. It's the price for cheap products because it's not just electronics. If you think we always lived like this and everything was always cheap look at TVs. In the 50s hardly anyone had one. In the 60s and 70s families had one on average. Today the average is probably one per person and some families have more TVs than people. What used to cost a month or twos wages now cost a day's. People used to pay over 5K for an Apple computer that had less power than your average cell phone today. They could make electronics here but they wouldn't make as much profit. Apple has as much cash on hand as many fortune 500 companies are worth by building in China but all the rest are building in many of the same factories. Remember Apple doesn't own any of them they are all contracts and they work for many of the same companies not mentioned. We need stories on what is going on in China just not more anti Apple venom. If everyone hates them then stop buying their products and they'll go away. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.

A Decent Factory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266280)

Once an Apple fanboy invited me to see this documentary.
http://icarusfilms.com/new2005/dec.html
I recommended it for you see how factories in China are being managed.

And... (1)

plsenjy (2104800) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266284)

SURPRISE!

Bit vague (3, Insightful)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266334)

' Since 2007, more than nine people have suffered or died from cancer in the village...'

'More than nine'? So 10? 11? It seems like it wouldn't be difficult to include the precise number.

Re:Bit vague (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266546)

Presumably those were just the documented cases, but the author has reason to believe that there were some number of cases that weren't documented (people without access to a doctor who just up and died from it undiagnosed).

fuck them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266354)

The Chinese have no self respect, they hold no pride in themselves or their environment. If they don't give a shit why should I

yea I hope every single one of them poisons themselves with their own greed.

Bullshit article (4, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266368)

From the summary: "suppliers that they believe are used by Apple"

Trolling by using Apple's name is a time-honored tradition in environmental groups. Yeah, they may be used by Apple...but they may not be. Maybe they're used by Dell? HP? Lenovo? GM? Ford? Chrysler? Qualcomm? Panda Express?

Re:Bullshit article (2)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266458)

Panda Express sells its toxic waste in malls throughout America...

9 out of 1,300,000,000? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266370)

Seriously? 9 people have died of cancer...in China, population 1.3 billion. 9 out of 1,300,000,000?

Re:9 out of 1,300,000,000? (1)

jzarling (600712) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266414)

They mention a village of 60, which is not named in the article - so I inferred the 9 were form that village downstream.
its a poorly written article.

Re:9 out of 1,300,000,000? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266510)

Well you inferred that I actually read the article ;-)

Re:9 out of 1,300,000,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266428)

9 out of 60...says so above. Did you even read it? You probably own an iThingy.

Re:9 out of 1,300,000,000? (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266444)

Did you read the article? It was 9 out of the 60 that live in the small village, which is 15% of the population.

Re:9 out of 1,300,000,000? (1)

pluther (647209) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266488)

...more than nine people have suffered or died from cancer in the village, which has a population of fewer than 60.

Seriously? 9 people have died of cancer...in China, population 1.3 billion. 9 out of 1,300,000,000?

Were you actually unable to read all the way to the end of that sentence, or are you deliberately trying to mislead in the hopes that nobody else read the summary?

Re:9 out of 1,300,000,000? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266636)

Nope. I can't get past sensationalist garbage summaries all the way to their end. My bad.

Same old story... (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266376)

Whether or not American companies do their manufacturing in China, Chinese companies will continue their environmentally harmful practices. It's convenient to blame Americans and the West for everything but the Chinese were doing this sort of thing long before we set up factories there. They simply don't care, economic growth is more important than anything else.

That said, it frustrates me to no end that American companies are not held accountable for what their manufacturers in China do. Every time some defective product pops up inevitably the American corporation foists all the blame on the Chinese manufacturer. Yes, the Chinese manufacturer screwed up, but why isn't the American company doing a better job of oversight?

The thing is that if Americans were forced to face the consequences of outsourcing more directly some of them might be more inclined to keep that manufacturing here. I'm even inclined to believe that all products manufactured in China that could have made in the US should have tariffs applied to them. Equalize the cost so that outsourcing doesn't look quite so attractive to the dolts in management looking to cut costs because it will secure them a promotion.

iDontcare (1)

curzen (2443152) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266398)

Americans prefer low cost over retaining jobs, a clean environment and a clean conscience.

Not surprised (1)

nstrom (152310) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266480)

I'm not surprised... I was in China in the summer of 2001, and one of the things I vividly remember was riding the train from Beijing to Shanghai, and looking out the window at a factory with smokestacks belching bubblegum-pink smoke into the sky. That cannot be healthy, or likely legal, but in general in China rules and regulations are one thing on paper, and another thing in practice.

Re:Not surprised (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266708)

Actually, that was the Hello Kitty crematorium.

Enjoy (1)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266508)

Over here [twitter.com] you may observe the iphone enabled twit-verse moan about Cantor proposing rollbacks of environmental regulation.

Environmental regulation without trade balance is international NIMBYism, folks.

They aspire to be like Jobs (0)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266526)

Why else would they want to be part of the Apple right to fame and then get cancer. Goddamned copycats, if you ask me.

You can't blame Apple...yet (3, Insightful)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266562)

Apple bought products from these companies, they don't run the companies. That would be like me blaming you for buying a shirt made by slave children. It is Apple's job to monitor its suppliers business practices. I'm not an Apple fan at all and I have written posts where I think Apple is off base suing Samsung and HTC because they both make tablets, but I can be realistic. Apple deserves no blame in here and probably doesn't need to be in the article, but obviously it will sell more and grab more attention if it is in the article. Now that being said if they are Apple's suppliers it would probably be best for Apple to drop them and distance themselves from the story. If they continue to use these suppliers, now that they know of their shady bushiness actions, then maybe you can blame them.

That's why our industry has been moving there (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266574)

No regulations on worker rights, human rights, or environmental rights. And, if you complain about it that makes you an anti-business, tree hugging, libtard. Now, get back in that Walmart line with your $3 t-shirt and STFU.

what's the true cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266670)

(What's the true cost) paid to hold this news 'till after he left...?

BTW, child labor still exists in the U.S. - it's just been outsourced.

Realistically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266736)

If we want to stop polluting we need to get rid of people and any kind of innovation from the earth especially people who eat meat. What was wrong with a pencil and paper? Why do we need so many fancy gadgets? Letters were way more green than email. Get my point?

Re:Realistically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266876)

If we want to stop polluting we need to get rid of people and any kind of innovation from the earth especially people who eat meat. What was wrong with a pencil and paper? Why do we need so many fancy gadgets? Letters were way more green than email. Get my point?

Maybe we can thin the herd by imposing the death penalty for strawman abuse!

Great movie to watch on the subject... (1)

cjjjer (530715) | more than 3 years ago | (#37266754)

Very interesting movie on this subject and the "recycling" of western technology Manufactured Landscapes (2006) [imdb.com]

There's no way that could happen in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37266814)

Oops. "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle [wikipedia.org]

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?