Apple investigating reports of student workers in factories (again)

The US titan has sold tens of millions of Apple Watches - which can cost up to $1,499.

According to the Financial Times, Sacom interviewed almost 30 high school students working at Quanta Computer's factory in Chongqing, China and found many of them were working on the assembly line. The high schoolers were supposedly sent to the factories by teachers, and a number of the students said they were told they would not graduate if they didn't complete the internships.

9to5Mac says that while students can technically work in factory conditions, they can only do so for a set amount of hours; similar to requirements laid out by U.S. child labor laws.

"Our graduation certificate will be withheld by the school if we refuse to come", said one student majoring in e-commerce, according to SACOM.

One student told the labor rights group that they were forced to work from 8 p.m.to 8 a.m. "We repeat the same procedure for hundreds and thousands of times every day, like a robot".

"We are urgently investigating the report that student interns added in September are working overtime and night shifts", Apple said.

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The Chongqing factory is operated by Quanta Computer, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, and also produces for other brands.

In a Monday statement, the Cupertino, Calif. -based iPhone maker said that it had audited the factory in question and found no evidence of student labor during the period of time described, but that it was continuing to assess the situation.

The alleged abuses echo the labour violations uncovered past year in Apple's iPhone supply chain at its Foxconn Zhengzhou factory, where both Apple and Foxconn acknowledged that student interns had illegally worked overtime.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is one of Apple's hottest 2018 products and the company that's contracted to assemble the devices can't make them fast enough. Past year it was reported that Foxconn had enlisted 3,000 high school students to staff their factories in a scramble to meet high demand for the then-new iPhone X.

The NGO demanded Apple investigate and bring the labour practices in line with the firm's own policies and those of the local and central Chinese government.

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