Marketplace Shanghai Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz got the rare opportunity to visit Foxconn’s factory – Apple’s manufacturing partner in China.
He is only the second reporter after ABC’s Nightline host Bill Weir, to gain access to the factory where Apple’s iPhone, iPad and other products are made.
Rob Schmitz writes:
The first misconception I had about Foxconn’s Longhua facility in the city of Shenzhen was that I’ve always called it a ‘factory’ — technically, it is. But after you enter the gates and walk around, you quickly realize that it’s also a city — 240,000 people work here. Nearly 50,000 of them live on campus in shared dorm rooms.
There’s a main drag lined on both sides with fast-food restaurants, banks, cafes, grocery stores, a wedding photo shop, and an automated library. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, a gym, two enormous swimming pools, and a bright green astroturf soccer stadium smack-dab in the middle of campus. There’s a radio station — Voice of Foxconn — and a television news station. Longhua even has its own fire department, located right on main street.
This is not what comes to mind when you think “Chinese factory.”
Marketplace has also published a short video of his visit, which includes a visit to the iPad assembly line, Foxconn campus and facilities.