Posts tagged ‘Tim Cook’


* Apple to return some Mac production to U.S. in 2013

Yet another instance of reverse offshoring or re-onshoring.

Reuters: “Apple Inc plans to move some production of Macintosh computers to the United States from China next year, Chief Executive Tim Cook said in remarks published on Thursday, in what could be a important test of the nascent comeback in U.S. electronics manufacturing.

An Apple logo is seen at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco, California June 11, 2012. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Apple makes the majority of its products, from Macs to the iPhone and iPad, in China, the world’s factory floor for electronics. But like other U.S. corporations, it has come under fire for relying on low-cost Asian labor and contributing to the decline of the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Cook did not say which Macintosh products will be produced in the United States. But the effort is expected to go well beyond simple final assembly of devices, with Apple and unnamed partners building most or all of the components in the United States as well.

The company will spend more than $100 million on the U.S. manufacturing initiative, Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, published on Thursday.”

via Apple to return some Mac production to U.S. in 2013 | Reuters.

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* Apple hit by China Foxconn factory report

BBC News: “An independent investigation has found “significant issues” among working practices at Chinese plants making Apple iPhones and iPads. The US Fair Labor Association FLA was asked by Apple to investigate working conditions at Foxconn after reports of long hours and poor safety. The FLA says it has now secured agreements to reduce hours, protect pay, and improve staff representation.Apple said it “fully accepted” the reports recommendations. “We share the FLAs goal of improving lives and raising the bar for manufacturing companies everywhere,” it said in a statement.

The findings emerged as Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Foxconn facilities. Mr Cook toured Zhengzhou Technology Park, where 120,000 employees work, on Wednesday. A string of suicides at Foxconn last year put the spotlight on working conditions at its factories. Last month, the company announced it was to send independent inspectors from the FLA to audit the facilities.

The investigation – one of the largest ever conducted of a US companys operations abroad – found employees often worked more than 60 hours a week and sometimes for seven days running without the required day off. Other violations included unpaid overtime and health and safety risks. Average monthly salaries at the three factories ranged from $360 (£227) to $455 (£289).

Deutsch: Foxconn Logo

Deutsch: Foxconn Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Foxconn raised salaries by up to 25% recently. The FLA said Foxconn had agreed to comply with the associations standards on working hours by July 2013, bringing them in line with a legal limit in China of 49 hours per week. The company will hire thousands more workers in order to compensate for the move, Reuters reports.

The BBC’s Adam Brookes in Washington says the report has been much anticipated as embodying a new and transparent approach to an old problem: that of cheap but popular consumer goods manufactured in poor conditions in developing countries. However, he says, a telling line in the report is the one which notes that the Foxconn workers did not have true trade union representation. The authorities in China are very wary of unions and are likely to remain so. Before the report was released, labour unions expressed doubts that the company was committed to improving standards. “The report will include new promises by Apple that stand to be just as empty as the ones made over the past 5 years,”, a coalition of trade unions and consumer groups, said.Foxconn employs 1.2 million workers in China to produce products for Apple as well as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and other companies.”

via BBC News – Apple hit by China Foxconn factory report.

Good news: Foxconn workers to be treated fairly under Chinese labour laws. Bad news: having incvreased pay by 25% recently and now having to increase it further, China’s 1.2 million workers at Foxconn (a Taiwanese company) better be prepared for layoffs in the medium term as Foxconn turn to countries with cheaper labour; and there are plenty of these around. The latter follows the “law of unintended or contrary consequences.”


* Chinese Vice-Premier Li meets Apple CEO

China Daily: “Vice-Premier Li Keqiang said Tuesday that China will strengthen intellectual property rights protection and continue to transform its economy, when meeting CEO of Apple Tim Cook in Beijing.”To be more open to the outside is a condition for China to transform its economic development, expand domestic demands and conduct technological innovation,” Li said.

He said that trade and economic cooperation together are an “important cornerstone” for the cooperative partnership featuring mutual respect and reciprocity that China and the United States are endeavoring to establish.The vice-premier called on multinational companies to expand cooperation with China, actively participate in the development of the western part of China, pay more attention to caring for workers and share development opportunities with the Chinese side.

Cook said Apple will strengthen comprehensive cooperation with the Chinese side and conduct business in a law-abiding and honest manner.”

via Vice-Premier Li meets Apple CEO Tim Cook|Economy|

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