China Labor Watch Founder Li Qiang on Apple

In an interview with Laptop, Li Qiang:

Although I know that the iPhone 4 is made at sweat shop factories in China, I still think that this is the only choice, because Apple is actually one of the best. Actually before I made a decision, I compared Apple with other cell phone companies, such as Nokia. And the conditions in those factories are worse than the ones of Apple.

Nokia is worse…

Dell and Hewlett Packard are not doing as good as Apple is doing right now. But when we talk about publicity and public relations, it’s another story.

Dell and HP are not as forthcoming and spin it better.

If Apple still lowers their prices and doesn’t give enough profits to the factories, then the factories don’t have money to improve the labor conditions. So it’s always the problem of Apple and not the problem of factories. We can see that Apple is trying to put all the responsibility on the factories by releasing the supplier factory list and trying to put the factories into the focus of the immediate public, but we think that Apple should do more to make a positive change in the whole system.

The system is broken because Foxconn negotiates with Apple knowing it can bend rules to maintain a certain level of profits.

Although we think Apple is among the best in terms of auditing, we still think that Apple can do more because it is the most profitable company in the world. As soon as Apple is willing to give a small percentage of its profits, the workers can benefit a lot. But Apple is not willing to do that.

Apple is a ruthless for profit business. No one forces Foxconn to do business with Apple. The problem is squarely on Foxconn’s inability to negotiate, it’s readiness to violate employees, and the toothlessness of Chinese law.