Friday, January 20th 2012

Foxconn Boss Likens Workers to Animals

A pinch of Foxconn is in most pieces of computer hardware and tech-gadgets sold today, but it's known more to be one of Apple's main contract-manufacturers of products such as the iPhone. Even as Apple has to fight flames on behalf of its suppliers about the bad PR the state of welfare of their workers are given, Hon Hai Precision industry's (Foxconn's) chairman kicked off a storm with one of his latest comments, where he likened his workers to animals. "Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million worldwide and as human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache," said Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou.

You might excuse Mr. Gou when that statement is read without context, since we're all technically animals, so let's add the context in which he made that remark, which is what kicked off the storm. Mr. Gou was attending an year-end party (Chinese lunar year-end), which was also attended by Chin Shih-chien, director of Taipei Zoo. He followed up that comment saying that he should learn from Shih-chien about "how animals should be managed." WantChinaTimes comments that Terry Gou's words were not carefully chosen.

"As Chin lectured on the stage, sharing his experience with the audience on how to manage different animals according to their individual temperaments, Gou listened carefully and asked Chin to put himself in his place as the chairman of Hon Hai, to the amusement of the 12 general managers of the group present," the report added. Foxconn has been a problem-supplier for the likes of Apple, not because of the quality of its supply, but bad PR that constant reports of Foxconn subjecting its workers to bad conditions, brings.Source: WantChinaTimes
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31 Comments on Foxconn Boss Likens Workers to Animals

#1
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: btarunr
how to manage different animals according to their individual temperaments
If companies actually did this I'd be glad, if you include personality in "temperaments".
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#2
micropage7
by: btarunr
to manage one million animals gives me a headache
one word
if he said like that, it means he is one of them, so thats why Foxconn is in trouble, coz the man who manage is not human :mad:
and im sure many his workers would be glad to broke his neck at this time
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#3
TheMailMan78
Big Member
Put me in front of a good plate of BBQ ribs and being called an animal would be an insult to animals world wide.

Honestly this seems to be a "taken out of context" issue.
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#4
Sasqui
I've heard first hand accounts of how line-workers are treated in high tech plants for PC hardware assembly in China. They are pretty much treated like cattle.
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#5
HossHuge
Update:
There have been some media reports regarding a conversation that Foxconn Technology Group Chief Executive Officer, Terry Gou, had with the Director of the Taipei Zoo, Chin Shih-chien, at an employee event organized by Foxconn on January 15 in Taipei to benefit a range of charitable organizations through a contribution of USD1.4 million. In an effort to encourage his management team to learn from all aspects of life, Mr. Gou did say that, since all humans are members of the animal kingdom, it might be possible to learn from Mr. Chin’s experience as his team looks for lessons that can be applied to business. Mr. Gou’s comments were directed at all humans and not at any specific group.

While some reports on Mr. Gou’s comments in Mandarin were taken out of context and do not accurately reflect the full scope of that conversation, Mr. Gou does understand how these reports could be misinterpreted and seen as insensitive and he sincerely apologizes to anyone who might be offended by them. At no time did Mr. Gou seek to portray Foxconn employees in the negative context some media reports have suggested.
source
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#6
RejZoR
Maybe they should hire apes and dogs and we'll see then what kind of iPhone and iPad, Apple will sell...
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#7
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
by: Sasqui
I've heard first hand accounts of how line-workers are treated in high tech plants for PC hardware assembly in China. They are pretty much treated like cattle.
poked and proded with an electric cattle prod?
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#8
catnipkiller
This is why i never buy mac. On the other hand i bought a foxconn mobo before the news of how badly they treated workers and it just a bad mobo over all.
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#9
PopcornMachine
Any other guy saying this would probably be taken as just a bad analogy and not funny.

But from a guy who runs a company that mistreats employees and even had some commit suicide, it really is pretty stupid and revealing.
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#10
Static~Charge
by: catnipkiller
This is why i never buy mac. On the other hand i bought a foxconn mobo before the news of how badly they treated workers and it just a bad mobo over all.
Don't buy any Dells, either. Most of their motherboards are made by Foxconn, too.
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#11
digibucc
by: TheMailMan78
Honestly this seems to be a "taken out of context" issue.
when it's China, and it's a company with a history of poorly treating their workers... i think it's at least understandably taken out of context. I doubt he really meant to insult - but to not think of the probable impact of the statement was bad in itself.
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#12
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: digibucc
when it's China, and it's a company with a history of poorly treating their workers... i think it's at least understandably taken out of context. I doubt he really meant to insult - but to not think of the probable impact of the statement was bad in itself.
I doubt it will make any difference. If you read what he said it was 100% truth. I get what you are saying but just people with thin skin will care.
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#13
HossHuge
Good luck trying to not buy their products. They have their hands in everything.
Major customers

Foxconn manufactures products for companies including:

(country of headquarters in parentheses)

Acer Inc. (Taiwan)
Amazon.com (United States)[23]
In 2011, Amazon and Foxconn formed a joint-design manufacturing company. The move was meant to produce an Amazon branded smartphone sometime in 2012.[24] Apple Inc. (United States)[25]
ASRock (Taiwan)
Asus (Taiwan)
Barnes & Noble (United States)
Cisco (United States)
Dell (United States)
EVGA Corporation (United States)
Hewlett-Packard (United States)[26]
Intel (United States)
IBM (United States)
Lenovo (China)
Logitech (Switzerland)
Microsoft (United States)
MSI (Taiwan)
Motorola (United States)
Netgear (United States)
Nintendo (Japan)
Nokia (Finland)[25]
Panasonic (Japan)
Philips (Netherlands)
Samsung (South Korea)
Sharp (Japan)
Sony Ericsson (Japan/Sweden)[27]
Toshiba (Japan)
Vizio (United States)
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#14
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
Well this is what happens when you have CHINA a communist country run the worlds manufacturing ! Great job America not only have we outsourced every tech job there is but we gave them to China of all places ! Time to insource .
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#15
Jizzler
by: HossHuge
Good luck trying to not buy their products. They have their hands in everything.
Yup, it's very hard not to buy a Foxconn product. Luckily brands known for quality get their products spec accordingly (at least, for certain lines).

Ex: Dell/Foxconn. A few years back I killed a few Optiplexes by just running them at full load. Didn't even get 24hrs before they died. Kept killing them and getting them replaced until they'll sent me some that could stand a little beating. Have never been able to kill a PowerEdge though (much better quality).
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#17
suraswami
by: HossHuge
Good luck trying to not buy their products. They have their hands in everything.
Good! So I can buy Gigabyte, Biostar and ECS then. My Sony TV is made in USA, so its made by humans! :rockout::laugh:

Jokes apart, sometimes truth comes out accidentally.
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#18
DaedalusHelios
by: FreedomEclipse
poked and proded with an electric cattle prod?
Most classic sweatshops would whip their workers. The developing world treats their lower classes horribly. Their ruling classes abuse the people below them. On top of that they have very little rights to speak of.(there may be a few exceptions with some smaller developing countries)

What the Foxconn upper echelons say is nothing compared to what they allow to occur in their factories. Slave labor is common in China. Earning a wage that only pays enough to barely buy enough food and shelter to survive is how slave labor works in any poorly planned capitalism. I am hoping China will eventually learn that quality of life is more important than numbers on a balance sheet.
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#19
digibucc
by: DaedalusHelios
I am hoping China will eventually learn that quality of life is more important than numbers on a balance sheet.
good luck with that dude. as long as the goal is profit, money will always be chosen over the welfare of people.
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#20
DannibusX
Doesn't Foxxconn manufacture all of Intel's sockets? If so, good luck avoiding Foxxconn in anything you buy.
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#21
overclocking101
by: TheMailMan78


Honestly this seems to be a "taken out of context" issue.
hate to say it but for once I think I actually agree with you on something.
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#22
Marv
I think that this is a "media quickly jump on the bandwagon attacking a company with already severely damaged PR when something is said that sounds odd" case. He didn't speak in English, but in Mandarin, which could be translated differently depending upon the translator. Also, taken out of context (as it was), and the entire story seems a little far-fetched. Even if he thinks of them as animals, he's not going to say it at a public, press-attended event?!?
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#23
TIGR
It's disappointing to see this in TPU "News" and as titled, it could mislead people who see it on the front page if it truly is an out-of-context case.
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#24
LAN_deRf_HA
Out of context? The context is covered in the article. It was quite clearly meant it as he said it. He really doesn't think much of his workers, and he really likens them to lowly animals. Why would you even feel the need to defend that? This isn't that super nice guy in your community suddenly being accused of murder, it's the head of Foxconn. Big effin' surprise.
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#25
Kantastic
by: LAN_deRf_HA
Out of context? The context is covered in the article. It was quite clearly meant it as he said it. He really doesn't think much of his workers, and he really likens them to lowly animals. Why would you even feel the need to defend that? This isn't that super nice guy in your community suddenly being accused of murder, it's the head of Foxconn. Big effin' surprise.
So if you employ a million people, you're going to care about all of them as friends and family? I can bet you don't even speak to 90% of your "friends" on Facebook on a daily basis, so why are you expecting more from one man trying to oversee a million others whom he has absolutely no personal affiliation with other than an employer-employee business relationship? Even that's an overstatement, because as CEO, he delegates to his underlings who are still too high up in the chain of command to have any involvement with the bottom-most labor force.

Business is business. If the FC workers don't like the wages or the hours, quit. I'd like to see the CEO of FC lose a night's sleep after the workers actually carry out their mass suicide.
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