Apple supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry, more popularly known as Foxconn, is allegedly using illegal student labor in the iPhone X assembly line.
The iPhone X supply problems have plagued the launch of the premium smartphone, and Foxconn has reportedly dipped into another shady labor practice in an attempt to keep up with the device's demand.
Students Forced To Work In Foxconn
According to a report by The Financial Times, over 3,000 student interns from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School are illegally employed in a Foxconn factory in China to help assemble the iPhone X.
The Financial Times were able to get in touch with six students ages 17 to 19 years old, who claimed that they routinely worked 11-hour days in the factory.
According to the students, they were forced by their school to work in the Foxconn factory in a three-month internship that had nothing to do with their studies. The internship, however, was a requirement for their graduation.
Yang, an 18-year-old student who wished for her first name to remain anonymous in fear of punishment, told The Financial Times that she assembled 1,200 iPhone X cameras daily.
In light of the report, Apple and Foxconn said that they have learned of students being forced into illegal overtime and that they were taking actions to remedy the situation. Apple and Foxconn, however, reiterated that the students were working voluntarily in the factories and were properly compensated. The issue lies in the overtime hours of students, which is illegal under Chinese law.
A Foxconn employee confirmed that the Apple supplier usually hires students every year from August to December to help meet the production demands for new iPhones. Over those few months, the staff at the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou may triple from 100,000 workers to 300,000 workers.
Foxconn Labor Issues, iPhone X Supply Problem
This is not the first time that Foxconn has been named in shady labor practices. The most prominent reports against the company were in 2012, when investigations revealed poor working conditions, riots, and suicides in Foxconn factories.
Foxconn has claimed to have implemented various improvements since then, but the iPhone X supply problem is a new matter. Previous reports claimed that the supply of iPhone X units will be extremely limited until next year, with only half of the expected iPhone X supply to be made available this year.
The iPhone X supply problem stems from issues with its TrueDepth camera system along with its more complicated assembly process.