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VIDEO – Foxconn workers talk about factory life in documentary

By Mark Zetter

Italian journalists Tommaso Facchin and Ivan Franceschini completed a documentary project titled ‘Dreamwork China’ (see excerpt video, below) that delves into the lives and dreams of some Foxconn workers at the EMS provider’s huge-by-any-industry-standard complex in Shenzhen, located in China’s Guangdon province. (See: Top 10 EMS provider / ODM rankings, ratings, reviews)

The Foxconn employee interviews were recorded in southern China between the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. Many of those interviewed work on Apple’s iPhone.

Foxconn employs about one million workers in China and 400,000 of them work in Shenzhen.

In China, the video states, more than 200 million people have left the countryside looking for a job in the cities. Among them, about 100 million were born in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

The Foxconn twenty-somethings talk about their dreams, large and small, and their futures. In many ways, they are no different from millions of other factory workers their age.

One young woman hopes to eventually open a cosmetics store. One young man from Hunan province who has only been working at Foxconn a couple of months says the work is okay but he dreams to open a storefront sometime in the near future.

One 20-year old male from Sichuan province has only worked for Foxconn for two months, immediately following graduation from high school because he did not have the grades good enough to help him pursue his dream in the sciences which require a higher education.

The documentary is well produced and projects a bustling Foxconn corporate culture where time is money.

The documentary video segment also points to the 14 Foxconn worker suicide attempts in 2010, resulting in 11 workers losing their lives that year. Yet, the video neither paints Foxconn as an evil employer nor does it heavily promote the Company.

Instead, as the workers tell their stories and this particular video segment unfolds, you are left with the perception that people are people. No matter what we do or where we live.


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