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December, 22 2014 |  Download PDF |  Share

Exhaustion Has No Limit at Apple Supplier in China

 

 

 

Apple Mania, But at What Cost?

Apple is the world’s largest buyer of flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs).  Zhen Ding Technology is one of the main suppliers of flexible printed circuit boards and other components for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod.  Zhen Ding also produces flexible printed circuit boards for the Amazon Kindle and for Xiaomi.

Zhen Ding Tech’s profits in October 2014 were $290 million due to release of Apple’s iPhone 6.  This is unprecedented in the company’s history, representing an increase of 14.96 percent for the month and 19.8 percent for the year ending October 2014.  Company sales for the year are expected to be an estimated $2.517 billion.

The Taiwanese-owned Zhen Ding Technology is the second largest manufacturer of flexible printed circuit boards in the world with four production facilities in mainland China, including their Shenzhen factory.

This is the story of Zhen Ding’s 15,000 employees, as told to us by many brave workers who have smuggled testimonies and rare undercover photos out of the factory.  The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights has given our word that we will protect the identities and lives of these workers.

China’s lack of democracy and refusal to adhere to internationally recognized worker rights standards are denying Chinese workers justice.
Very powerful corporations, such as Apple, could have a positive role to play.

Security guards are everywhere at Zhen Ding, over 100 of them, who routinely harass and beat the workers.

 

What Do Apple and Zhen Ding Technology Stand for in China?

Zhen Ding Technology employs approximately 15,000 workers at its manufacturing facility in Shenzhen.  Workers produce flexible printed circuit boards among other integrated circuit products for Apple, Amazon, Xiaomi and many other consumer electronics companies.

  • No Taxes:  Zhen Ding Technology, a Taiwanese-owned company, was incorporated in the Cayman Islands in 2006 where there are no:
    • Corporation tax,
    • Income tax,
    • Capital gains tax,
    • Inheritance tax,
    • Gift tax,
    • Wealth tax, or
    • “Any other tax applicable to a company conducting offshore business.” (Conyers Dill & Pearman. December 2010)

  • Primitive Dorms:  More than 10,000 Zhen Ding workers are housed in primitive, dark and filthy dorms, sleeping on plywood, with six to ten workers in each crowded room.

  • Zhen Ding dumps toxic wastewater into a polluted and dead river that runs next to the factory.
    “Zhen Ding has obtained wastewater discharge permits, which is sufficient of development for the company in the next 5-7 years, and so it is a competitive advantage for future development of all factories in China.”  - Zhen Ding Technology Holding Limited, December 6, 2011

  • Exhausted workers sleep through their lunch break, hunched over their work tables.

  • Security guards are everywhere at Zhen Ding, over 100 of them, who routinely harass and beat the workers.

  • No free lunch:  There is a massive cafeteria at the Zhen Ding factory.  Thousands of workers were told their food would be free, which is a lie.  However, it is true that for 16 cents, the workers can eat all the rice they want.

  • Fifteen thousand Zhen Ding workers enter the factory each day, in two shifts.

  • The factory runs 24 hours a day with two 12-hour shifts.  Workers toil 64 to 72 hours a week with just one day off.  They are allowed just four to six seconds per operation.  The workers are numb and exhausted.

 

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