Prof. Andreas Bieler and I have been awarded a grant of £275k by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for a project on ‘Globalisation, national transformation and workers’ rights: an analysis of Chinese labour within the global economy’ (RES-062-23-2777; full project proposal). The project starts to run from 1 October 2011. On this blog, I will regularly provide a discussion of empirical findings related to this project.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Can Chinese Workers Eat Apple?

On 24 September, the iPhone 5 was launched in the first nine countries/areas, America, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong. It will go on to be launched in 22 more countries in the week beginning 1 October. The first weekend’s sales were very impressive, reaching 5 million. This number already broke Apple’s previous record for first-weekend sales of all previous models of iPhone. I wonder, when all those Apple fans are camping outside to be ‘the first customer’ or at least ‘first group of customers’ to buy the iPhone 5, has any of the fans thought about the making of this most advanced, light, cool gadget? This paper links the hot-selling phenomenon of the iPhone 5 to the Chinese workers, for the very reason that most of Apple’s iProducts are manufactured in China.