Apple and their primary supplier Foxconn Technology Group will share the initial costs of improving labor conditions at the Chinese factories that build iPhones and iPads. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou did not give a figure for the costs, but they said that the companies will be spending heavily to fight a perception that their plants in China are considered sweatshops with poor conditions.
“We’ve discovered that this (improving factory conditions) is not a cost. It is a competitive strength,” Gou told reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony revealing the company’s new China headquarters in Shanghai. “I believe Apple sees this as a competitive strength along with us, and so we will split the initial costs.”
Whether the cost split would be 50/50 or any other ratio is unknown. Foxconn announced in mid-February that they will be raising wages for workers by 16-25% and it late March, they reached an agreement with Apple to hire tens of thousands of new workers to reduce overtime. Foxconn is also known for making gadgets for Nintendo and Microsoft.
Within the last few years, there has been a few suicides at the plant. Improve work conditions became a high priority because of those incidents.