I’ll own up to something right here and now; what I know of Apple’s issues with Foxconn, one of the factories that builds their devices, consists of information that’s come from both this site and the This American Life podcast.
I know there’s been a lot of finger-pointing, a lot of allegations, a lot of lying and, the general consensus at least suggests, that the Foxconn workplace leaves a lot to be desired.
This time around, the problems are trickling into my little corner of the tech industry, gaming.
Foxconn has admitted to using child labor in their factories. As such, Nintendo is investigating them. The child laborers were supposedly working on Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U system. Foxconn supposedly had 14 year olds building the hardware, the youngest legal working age in China is 16. This, of course, is problematic.
A Nintendo spokesperson said this to IGN:
“Nintendo is in communication with Foxconn and is investigating the matter. We take our responsibilities as a global company very seriously and are committed to an ethical policy on sourcing, manufacture and labor. In order to ensure the continued fulfillment of our social responsibility throughout our supply chain, we established the Nintendo CSR Procurement Guidelines in July 2008. We require that all production partners, including Foxconn, comply with these Guidelines, which are based on relevant laws, international standards and guidelines. If we were to find that any of our production partners did not meet our guidelines, we would require them to modify their practices according to Nintendo’s policy.
For more information about Nintendo’s Corporate Social Responsibility report, please visit http://www.nintendo.co.jp/csr/en/index.html.”
Let’s hope that’s not just PR speak, and they actually follow through.