NEWS



Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn and the Lives of China’s Workers




Keynote Speaker:
Dr Jenny Chan, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Date : 22 March 2022 (Tuesday)
Time: 9:30am - 11:10am (HK Time)
Mode: Online via Zoom

Please register here

Abstract:
Please register for the webinar hereBetween the wave of 18 young worker suicides at Foxconn facilities in 2010 and the outbreak of coronavirus at the end of 2019, I engaged with Foxconn workers through first-hand interviews as well as their shared poems, songs, open letters, photos and videos, supplemented with meetings with managers and government officials in multiple research trips. Dying for an iPhone (Chan, Selden and Pun 2020) is a comprehensive study of a new generation of Chinese migrant workers’ hopes, dreams and struggles to survive. The book developed the analytical framework of a “global factory regime” to explain the buyer-supplier power dynamic in transnational manufacturing. Big buyers (such as Apple) and big suppliers (such as Foxconn Technology Group) are highly interdependent in outsourced electronics production, wherein the fluctuation of orders, coupled with tight delivery requirements, shifts production pressure from global tech firms to contract manufacturers. From this critical perspective, the management systems regulating factory floors in China are not only shaped by the authoritarian practices of the domestic nation state but also by the boom-and-bust purchasing practices of multinational corporations in global supply chains. The dialectics of domination and resistance are interwoven in the life and death struggles of Chinese workers who produce our iPhones.