Apple admits student interns worked illegal hours on iPhone X production line

However, they denied that the students who were working overtime were being forced to do so.

Students from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School told the Financial Times that they were part of a group of 3,000 teenagers sent into a Foxconn facility to meet demand for the iPhone X. The students were reportedly told that their three-month time at the facility was required "work experience" that was needed for them to graduate. Ms Yang, a student who complained of being forced into work that "has nothing to do with our studies", said she has been assembling iPhone X cameras, up to 1200 every day.

Foxconn said that "all work was voluntary and compensated appropriately, [but] the interns did work overtime in violation of our policy" prohibiting student interns working more than 40 hours a week.

Apple and Foxconn have both acknowledged the problem and have said they are taking action. "The work has nothing to do with our studies", Ms. Yang added, noting that she's now training to become a train attendant.

Apple's supply chain has faced criticism over poor labor standards for years, and the company has pushed manufacturing partners to improve factory conditions or risk losing business.

The "Foxconn City" park outside of Shenzhen came under worldwide scrutiny in 2010 after media reports about 18 suicide attempts and 14 deaths that year.

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Six of them told The Financial Times that they routinely worked 11-hour days, which is illegal under Chinese law.

Apple is dedicated to ensuring everyone in our supply chain is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. "They could have stopped these students working night shifts and long hours sooner, but they didn't do that".

The supplier said the internship program was "carried out in co-operation with local governments and a number of vocational schools in China".

The high school refused to comment, and China's education ministry could not be reached by Times reporters. "Apple knew about the issue with student workers some time ago", he claimed.

According to early rumors, it's possible that Samsung is working on FaceID-like features for it's next iteration of the Galaxy smartphone as it looks to better position itself against Apple's iPhone X. However, early rumors on the device point to plenty of software upgrades for the S9 with limited improvements in the actual hardware.

  • Darren Santiago