A Chinese news agency, Shanghai Evening Post, has sent an experienced journalist to slip into the Foxconn Tai Yuan factory and pretended as a new worker, his mission is to find out how the new iPhone 5 is produced. The Chinese journalist precisely recorded his 10 days of working experience in the factory and published a dairy to disclose the inside story of manufacturing the iPhone 5.
The Tai Yuan Foxconn factory is recently well-known for it’s large-scale workers strike which took place during March. Back then the factory urgently needs 20,000 more workers because Foxconn has received orders for the production of iPhone 5. The plants needs to produce 57 million iPhone 5 for each year. Apparently, the journalist only stayed inside the Foxconn factory for 10 days due to the undesirable working conditions. He has undergone mean training during the first 7 days and finally got the chance to take part the producing of iPhone 5 on the 8th day …
UPDATE SEPT 24 – Part 1: Taiyuan Foxconn has gone strike !
UPDATE SEPT 24 – Part 2: We have got in touch with the undercover journalist.
Editor note: If you have no patience to read his orientation experience over at Foxconn, please skip to day 8 section for the detail on iPhone 5 manufacturing, that is the best part of the whole undercovered story. But we still highly recommend you to read from day one as there are many interesting inside stories about Foxconn working condition that we never heard before.
We have summarized and translated his entire diary as below:
DAY 1: Recruitment – “Good health with Citizen Identity Card”
DAY 2: Signing Contract – “No environmental harm ?”
DAYS 3 to 6: Training Session – “All you need to do is OBEY”
(Photo Credit: Daily Mail)
Day 7: Break Time – “Release of Stress”
For the past several days, I have been to many Foxconn facilities such as dormitory, canteen, bathing room, playground, gym, hospital, postal office, library and shopping street etc. Although most of them are free of charge but the facilities seriously needs improvements. For example, inside the entertainment center there are 2/3 of the arcades games are malfunction. The so-called theater room only shows a screen shot picture of a meeting room. The most interesting part is out of the whole Foxconn factory, I can’t find a single place selling beer, sitting stool and poles for hanging laundry clothes.
Over the weekends, outside at the playground, there’s a social gathering where all Foxconn workers gather and dance. The host of the party speaks through the mic: “We are all over stressed everyday and we are not allowed to shout on the production floor. Over here you can shout as loud as you want to release your stress.” One of my room mate has told me that he likes this weekly dancing party very much and he has found a girlfriend during the dance.
DAYS 8 to 10: iPhone 5 Assembling- “Do what you are told to do !”
Our line is being assigned to use masking tapes and plastic stoppers to cover up the earphone jack and the connector ports of the back plate in order to prevent the paint from being sprayed onto it on the next process. Our supervisor asked us to put on our mask and gloves and see how the seniors work on it. At 11 p.m, we went for a supper and after midnight, we started work again. I’m being assigned to mark placement points on the iPhone 5 back-plate using an oil-based paint pen. I’m being scolded many times for spilling too much oil on the markings. My roommate has being assigned to paste the masking tapes of not more than 5mm wide on the right spots that I have marked. And he has being scolded many times for pasting them too slow. Our supervisor said that these works were actually being assigned to females workers with nimber fingers, but due to too many workers have resigned lately they have no choice but to assign these jobs to male workers.
By my own calculations, I have to mark five iPhone plates every minute, at least. For every 10 hours, I have to accomplish 3,000 iPhone 5 back plates. There are total 4 production lines in charge of this process, 12 workers in every line. Each line can produce 36,000 iPhone 5 back plates in half a day, this is scary … I finally stopped working at 7 a.m. We were asked to gather again after work. The supervisor shout out loud in front of us: “Who wants to rest early at 5 a.m !? We are all here to earn money ! Let’s work harder !” I was thinking who on earth wants to work two extra hours overtime for only mere 27 yuan (USD$4) !?
We are confounded on the diary on how bad the living condition of the Foxconn workers at the dormitory and the kind of treatment they have received. Though it’s still interesting to know the workflow of manufacturing the iPhone 5 back-plate. Although there is no guarantee of the report’s authenticity, but we still feel that all Apple fanboys should appreciate the hard work from the Chinese workers, as they have worked overtime which is certainly underpaid, just to rush out the iPhone 5 hoping to meet the scheduled of the launching date. Now we are getting even more excited after roughly knowing the factory’s production workflow of the latest iPhone 5. So what is Apple going to show us after 20 hours time ?
on August 27th, we believe the under-covered may conducted in July.