One of the biggest stories in the technology world this week has been the revelation that Foxconn was hiring underage employees. Foxconn has been plagued in the last year or so with multiple complaints and allegations of unfair and unsafe working conditions in many of its factories. Foxconn is contracted by many of the world's biggest technology companies to build products.
One of Foxconn's highest profile clients is Apple with Foxconn constructing the iPhone and other gadgets for the technology giant. However, Apple isn't the only massive and successful technology company that contracts with Foxconn to assemble electronics and other products. Microsoft also contracts with Foxconn to construct products and Foxconn builds the Nintendo Wii U that will be coming on the market soon.
Nintendo has issued an official statement on Foxconn hiring children under the age of 16 to work in its Yantai factory in China. Foxconn recently announced that some interns were as young as 14 years old and Chinese law states the workers under the age of 16 can't be hired. One official news agency of China has previously claimed that Foxconn hired underage interns in an effort to make up for a shortage of 19,000 employees.
Chinese news agency Xinhua has reported that as many as 56 underage workers were returned home from Foxconn's internship program. Nintendo has noted that is in communication with Foxconn and is investigating underage workers. The company says that they require all production partners, including Foxconn, to comply with their procurement guidelines set out in July 2008. Nintendo says that it requires any production partners that don't meet those guidelines to modify their practices according to Nintendo's policy. You can read Nintendo's official statement below.
"Nintendo is in communication with Foxconn and is investigating the matter. We take our responsibilities as a global company very seriously and are committed to an ethical policy on sourcing, manufacture and labor. In order to ensure the continued fulfillment of our social responsibility throughout our supply chain, we established the Nintendo CSR Procurement Guidelines in July 2008. We require that all production partners, including Foxconn, comply with these Guidelines, which are based on relevant laws, international standards and guidelines. If we were to find that any of our production partners did not meet our guidelines, we would require them to modify their practices according to Nintendo’s policy. For more information about Nintendo’s Corporate Social Responsibility report, please visit http://www.nintendo.co.jp/csr/en/index.html."