Apple in talks with China environmentalists

2011-11-16 17:20

Beijing - Apple has for the first time held talks with environmental campaigners who accuse the company's Chinese manufacturers of widespread pollution, participants said on Wednesday.

The maker of the iPad and iPhone agreed to meet five Chinese environmental groups after they issued a report in August that alleged rampant pollution at dozens of factories believed to be producing products for Apple.

One of the campaigners, Ma Jun, praised the talks as a "step forward" but criticised Apple for refusing to identify its suppliers in China - a policy pressure groups say enables the electronics giant to evade scrutiny.

"This was the first time that they sat down with all five of us to discuss the report, so this was a step forward," said Ma, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs.

"Despite this they consider that the pollution from these 15 companies is a commercial secret. So we don't know the names of the 15 companies and we can't verify the steps they are making to curb pollution."

In the report, the environmental groups alleged that companies they believed to be supplying Apple were discharging toxic substances that were harming workers and local residents.

Apple, whose iPhones and iPads are hugely popular among China's growing middle class, declined to comment on the meeting directly.

Apple has in the past confirmed that two Chinese factories, one owned by Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn and the other by WinTek, also a Taiwanese company, were making its products.

It acknowledged the FoxConn plant after a series of worker suicides there and has said that last year 137 workers at the WinTek plant suffered "adverse health effects" when exposed to a chemical substance called N-hexane, used to clean screens.

"We require that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made," said company spokesperson Carolyn Wu.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    foxconn  |  apple  |  china  |  environment

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36 publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Springboks' bus driver inspires team in UK
Mallett says 'no thanks' after England call
Tuilagi to appeal 5-week ban
Win over Boks was 'massive' for Japanese rugby
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.