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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has bothered me for a while about the small inscription found on Apples products "Made in China". I know a lot of goods are manufactured there, but I find it a bit weird that here is a company that promotes the empowerment of their users to be creative and enjoy the wealth of information on the internet yet uses the capabilities of a country that has a surpressive regime that regularly censors internet information and holds people for public criticism of it's government. Does anyone know if Apple has any social policies that it publishes ?
 

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bothers the hell out of me. I never noticed to be honest, tho i guess i try to ignore where's it's been made when i love the product. bad me

it's a bad situation cuz if all users put pressure on apply to switch our prices would go up and then no new users.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wasn't suggesting we boycott anything. I was just curious to know if it plays on anyones minds when they see "Made in China" on their Apple products. It would be nice to know from Apple if there are any social policies they enforce at the factories they use. I'm sure Apple employ ethical treatment practices when it comes to using external suppliers from such countries but if there were a possibility that pressure from their customers could improve these peoples lives in any small way I would certainly be interested. As for price rises, if things weren't manufactured in China...there are plenty of other places where there is cheap labour available that do not enforce censorship. How would you feel if you wanted to read a story on the BBC website about your governments errors but were stopped from viewing it on your newly purchased computer that was made by a company that was doing business with your government. I'd be p*ssed for sure!

[ February 24, 2004, 02:33 PM: Message edited by: Loafer ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just out of interest...

US imports $163.3 billion worth of stuff from China.....$30 billion being electrical equipment (2003 figures)

2 points...

1. that's a lot of manufaturing taken from people in the US

2. That's a lot of pressure US companies alone could apply on the Chinese government for less censorship of the internet and religious groups.

but as people are making a buck out of the Chinese economy why rock the boat eh ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
IBM were in dealings with the Nazi regime who suppressed religious freedoms.

The Chinese government suppresses religious freedoms.
Apple supports the Chinese government.

Make your own conclusions.

Like I said earlier, I'm not saying boycott anything....I'm talking about awareness and concern. I must admit, I would be happier if Apple didn't manufacture in China.
 

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Where are these "facts" coming from? China is a very different country from what we've read about in the past. Yes, not to long ago, the Chinese had very little say about what goes on in their country. But today's China is very different. If you actually looked into what's going on in China today, you'll see capitalism all over the country. Corporations are opening shop in a country where 10 years ago only had things that we're gov't run.

Most of the censorship that still exist in China for the internet is mostly censoring gov't opinion. But expect that to change. The Chinese want to move into a Capitol gov't, but I believe they don't want to make the same mistake that Russia did, and that was just to switch, their doing it over time, and building an economy first before changing the gov't.

The made in China would have bothered me a few years ago, but not for ethical reasons, just that it was usually crap. But today, not one bit. The country is changing everyday, and change over their happens a lot faster than it does anywhere else.

I would rather buy something that is made in China, then in the USA. If you paid more attention to the USA, you would know that that country is going down the drain, and it's that country that puts it's citizens second. Almost like a swapping effect with China.

Also one last point. Does anybody remember when a lot of cheap products said Made in Hong Kong? Well since HK became a part of China again, a lot of products just say made in China. So you can't use that whole ethics argument, because even though they are same country, they have two completely different governments, and who knows where it's really made.

vince
 

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Back around Labor Day I suggested that the #1 issue in the US presidential race would be outsourcing of products and services. The people that were at this party thought I was crazy, but now it is slowly becoming a relevant issue. I try to buy Made in Canada or Made in the USA products when it comes to any and all items, especially clothing, since Canadian and US labor laws are strict when it comes to NOT employing child labor.
 

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Whatever you might think about China, the leadership is nothing if not pragmatic. Democracy will come there. It won't happen overnight.

10 million people a year move from rural China to the cities, looking for those manufacturing jobs.
Chinese exports are doubling every 5 years.
China's GNP doubles every 10 years.

Sometime in the next decade, probably sooner rather than later, China will become the world's largest economy, the world's largest exporter, and the world's largest importer. They are very nearly the world's largest Oil importer now, and have displaced the US as Japan's largest trading partner.

They will be importing many of the things we sell in Canada, from Oil to knowledge. I believe that refusing to trade with China is counter-productive, if you think democracy is overdue, and to a large extent impossible anyway. It's like refusing to trade with the US; no-one can afford to do it without risking grave harm to it's own citizen's well-being, and perhaps risking Democracy itself at home.

Economic collapse caused more 20th century evil than economic success. None of the asian nations are democracies as we would recognize them; not even Japan.

If there were signs that North Korea was willing to begin to embrace more freedom and ties with the West, should we turn our backs on them and refuse to trade? I don't think so; I think it would be ensuring the continued slavery of these desperate peoples if we did. Just my 2c worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
scootsandludes,

you made some interesting points but I don't think just because a nation embraces economic reform necessarily means it is a free nation in terms of personal freedom.

As for North Korea, it would serve no purpose turning our backs on a them if they were willing to embrace more freedoms for their people. Thats the whole point...encourage them to do such a thing and let investement flood in. But once the money does start to go in Human rights violations should never be ignored.
 

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One of the nost common misperceptions about electronics manufacturing is that it is much cheaper to manufacture in China.

The reality is that the average cost of Labour in manufacturing Finished electronics (computer ,stereo) is below 5%.
After shipping, the overall savings by manufacturing offshore is a maxinmum of 2%.

2% to an 8 Billion dollar company is alot of money.

So the question is, Would you pay 2% more for a product if it were made in the USA or Canada? Would you pay $60.00 more for your Powerbook? Would you pay $8 more for your iPod?
Market research indicates that people would pay the extra money if it were marketed that way.
I have been to manufacturing (Electronic) facilities around the world.
By far the best treated employees were in China. All employees must be housed, fed, and have medical facilities provided. As well, every facility I went to had fantastic recreational facilities.
By far the nicest, cleanest and safest facilities were in China.
By far, the most advanced capabilities (From a consumer electronics standpoint ) were in China.
All chinese electronic manufacturing facilities adhere to ISO 14000 environmental standards. This is better than here.
So, I guess my point is that. while I do not support the Government in China, my perception of the country is not what most would have. Changing the human rights record in China can't be achieved though isolation. It can happen over time by opening up the society to the rest of the world through trade.
 

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Specialisation of work force is the basis of economy. I am not talking about capitalism but economy in general. If each person does the thing its good at, more product will be made at a lower cost. The problem arise when the money concern goes first and humans second.

The current problem is that US was seen as THE biggest manufacturer in the world and its changing. US has to adapt itself and change the structure of its economy. You cant always be first, there is always a new kid coming to kick your ass eventualy.. Just look at Spain. It once was one of the greatest country and they lost it all because they couldnt think more than one year ahead...

On the other hand, I totaly agree about buying clothing from Canada to prevent child labour!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Petite for that piece..

that's kind of why I started this thread, I wanted to find out more about the situation.

The 'green' movement in the 90's really started to make business re-think their environmental policies because of a growing number of consumers making informed choices of the products they buy. I don't think it is a bad thing to question the ethical business practices of the companies (and goverments concerned) who manufature the products we know (and love!).
I future certainly does look promising for the Chinese and they will certainly overtake the US at some point but I do hope that it isn't at the expense of peoples freedoms to choose or the environment.
 

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Our lust for the cheapest price and greatest poifit ultimately serve to erode our own domestic economy and consumer market.Lou Dobbs' Moneyline on CN has been on this all year -- including the increased use of illegal aliens. If this type of behaviour continues, who'll be able to afford to shop at even Wal Mart??!
 

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"who'll be able to afford to shop at even Wal Mart??!"

Ick. I hate walmart and avoid it as much as possible. Sure, I may be paying 30 cents more for toothpaste, but I'd rather support local small businesses that aren't taking over the world.
 

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Eventually, the playing field does even out. China and India are really the last bastiens of inexpensive manufacturing combined with a very well educated workforce.
There was a time when South Korea and Taiwan were the hotbeds of manufacturing. Today both places economies have grown to the point where they are the same in cost as building in N/A.
The circuit board factories I visited in Taiwan were staffed with Malaysians. One plant manager told me it was because Taiwanese no longer wanted to do that kind of work. They're all engineers.
Eventually, this will happen in China and India. It will happen sooner rather than later. After that, where do you go?
 

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My new 15" ALU Powerbook came from Shanghai. And those political prisoners make a mighty fine notebook computer!!

only kidding, I hope,
SouthSide
 
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