September 9, 2010
By Frederik Balfour and Tim Culpan
Foxconn founder Terry Gou might be regarded as Henry Ford reincarnated if only a dozen of his workers hadn’t killed themselves this year. An exclusive look inside a postmodern industrial empire. On a crushingly hot mid-August day at Foxconn’s Longhua factory campus in Shenzhen—where a dutiful army of 300,000 employees eats, sleeps, and churns out iPhones, Sony PlayStations, and Dell computers—workers indulged in a rare moment of celebration. First, there was a parade, an Alice in Wonderland spectacle of floats, blaring vuvuzelas, and workers dressed up as Victorian ladies, geishas, cheerleaders, and Spider-Men. This was followed by a two-hour rally inside a vast sports stadium featuring acrobats, musical performances, fireworks, and life-affirming testimonials punctuated by chants of “treasure your life” and “care for each other to build a wonderful future.”
By Frederik Balfour
Foxconn Gives Bloomberg Businessweek Unprecedented Access
Foxconn, the secretive Taiwanese company that produces Apple’s iPhone and iPad, the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, and Dell computers, was forced into the limelight in May 2010 after a dozen employees committed suicide, most by jumping from company dormitories. As part of a much needed public relations effort, Foxconn granted Bloomberg Businessweek unprecedented access to the company’s factory floors, worker dorms, suicide helpline operators, and the company’s charismatic chairman and founder, 59-year-old Terry Gou. Here are some images of its sprawling facility in Longhua, a suburb of Shenzhen, China, where more than 300,000 migrant laborers work.