Foxconn has reportedly been employing students to illegally work overtime at their factories to assemble Apple’s, iPhone X. According to the Financial Times, six high school students told the news outlet they regularly work 11-hour days assembling the device, which is illegal for student interns to do under China’s laws. The students were teenagers, between the ages of 17 to 19 years old, and they said they are told they had to work at the factory for three months to graduate. One student told Financial Times they were being forced to work there, and that the work had nothing to do with school. The student also claimed to have assembled up to 1,200 iPhone X cameras a day.
According to the Financial Times, Apple and Foxconn said they had discovered several student interns working overtime, and they were taking action. However, both companies claimed the students were not “forced” to work beyond the legal hourly limits. “We’ve confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits,” Apple said. “But they should not have been allowed to work overtime.”
Moreover, Foxconn said they worked with local governments and vocational schools in organizing the internship program, but claimed the overtime work violated its policy, which prohibits students from working more than 40 hours per week.
This news comes after reports of high demand for the new iPhone X ahead of the device’s intended ship date, which was hit with rumors of supply issues.
At least 300,000 people assemble iPhones at Foxconn, with thousands of students from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School sent to help with the iPhone X. The students in the Financial Times report spoke to volunteered to work overtime and were paid for it, which is nothing in comparison to the reportedly extreme conditions at Foxconn.