Apple’s suppliers in China may be in trouble again this week. National regulators are investigating Foxconn and UniMicron after the two companies were accused by several environmental organizations of pumping high amounts of toxic heavy metals into local rivers. The news comes as the Chinese public and its leaders have become increasingly aware of the pollution affecting the country’s water, air, soil and other natural resources.
The most recent allegations focus on an 40 mile industrial region to the west of Shanghai that’s become a stronghold of the global electronics industry, Ding Yudong a local representative of China’s environmental regulator, told The Wall Street Journal. Testing will be a long process, but Ding promises that any environmental violations will result in harsh penalties for the companies at fault.
Both electronics suppliers denied breaking any environmental regulations in official statements. Foxconn claims it follows all emissions standards according to government law, while also pointing the finger at other companies operating facilities in the same industrial park. Meanwhile, UniMicron stated that it inspects its waste water daily and installed additional monitors. An Apple spokesperson also said that the company works closely with all its suppliers to address environmental concerns.