Blog 2

Turning a Blind Eye


Mike Daisey’s adventure through Shenzhen was truly enlightening and begs the question, “Do you really think Apple doesn’t know… do they just see what they want to see?” After hearing this podcast, I can’t help but think that Apple (and the other corporations involved with Foxconn) must just turn a blind eye.

Daisey’s level of detail in describing the conditions at these monstrous factories is extraordinary. Cafeterias fitting tens of thousands people, nets being placed on buildings to prevent suicides, surveillance cameras monitoring every moment, armed guards staring at the gates—the factories sound more like mass prisons than the technological havens I once thought them to be. As I type this blog, I look at my Macbook laptop in a different light now. I think of a thirteen-year-old girl cleaning my screen, right before she has to slide into bed “like coffins.” I think of complete silence in a room the size of a football field as dozens of fingers put together each individual key on the keyboard my fingers are touching as I type. It is a sickening feeling.

This podcast really makes me question whether or not Apple adopts a stakeholder managing strategy. Despite being viewed as the pinnacle of ‘cool’ and social responsibility, Apple is clearly oblivious to the travesties that are happening in the factories their products are created. I can’t help but think that this all serves just one purpose: maximizing profits and appeasing shareholders. If Apple were concerned with its stakeholders, reporters like Daisey would not need to sneak into Shenzhen factories to see the truth. After all, not even Siri wants to admit where it was made.

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7 thoughts on “Turning a Blind Eye

  1. I like how you connected your thoughts back to the beginning of the podcast when Siri was asked where she was made… I really think it ended your thoughts nicely! Do you think you will buy less Apple products now that you know about Foxconn’s ways?

  2. Very interesting that you thought of your own Apple products while listening to the podcast. I did not have that initial response, but now I’ve realized I cannot look at my laptop the same either.

    And I agree with you connections to the stakeholder, shareholder arguments. Going into the podcast I would have said Apple has adopted a stakeholder management system, but I definitely don’t think I’d agree with that statement anymore.

  3. Rachel, I’m not sure that I will stop buying Apple products as a result of this podcast. I would second-guess myself, surely. But part of me still holds on to this belief that maybe Apple isn’t as bad as this monologue makes them out to be–giving them the benefit of the doubt, if you will. I have been using Apple products for most of my life, and I don’t know if I could just give up on them suddenly. If another major news story was to cross the wire, perhaps about suicides or poor working conditions at an Apple manufacturer, I would realize that Apple has not changed its ways and would seriously consider a switch to products from a different tech company.

  4. I personally feel that Apple is simply too large and powerful of a corporation to not be aware a least a little bit as to the working conditions of their manufacturing plants. The real trouble arises concerning how the plants would hide young workers when being audited. I simply cannot bring myself to believe that no one in the Apple corporation knows this is going on. They have simply highlighted the positive aspects of the company for enough time that consumers really just won’t care if horrible things like that happen in China.

  5. I think that the title of your blog really says it all. It is almost impossible that large corporations are completely unaware of what is happening in these manufacturing facilities. Mike Daisey is just a random guy who pretended he was a businessman. You can only imagine that when a high-powered, well known businessman from Apple showed up at the door of one these large suppliers that he was shown every inch of the factory. That means at least one person in the company must know what is happening and it seems that no one would be able to keep the image of “mass prisons” to themselves.

  6. I agree with you Dan. I think that Apple is certainly turning a blind idea and what really stuck with me in your blog was your comment “the factories sound more prisons than the technological havens that I once thought them to be.” I felt the same way about the places where all these products must be created. Pristine and white walled, filled with technology, I, like many Americans, haven mistaken laboratories in the USA with the manufacturing plants that actually produce the products. I too came to the sad conclusion that it must be profits than are the real motivator and that Apple is more concerned with themselves than than their workers.

  7. Turn a blind eye is such an interesting phrase. Actually, I imagine they know quite well the conditions. The question for me is how it is normalized, justified, made acceptable. There are likely (for sure) stacks and stacks of labor audits and other documents that show that the working conditions meet a code of compliance. That is an “eye” looking right at this and seeing nothing abnormal.

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