Unpaid students building PS4s at Foxconn
October 11, 2013 // 1:03 p.m.
Infamous Chinese electronics factory Foxconn is reportedly using thousands of unpaid IT and engineering students to build Playstation 4s in its plant.
Chinese news reports translated by Games in Asia say that the students are unpaid interns being made to match the long hours of regular Foxconn staff. An internal investigation by the plant also revealed that they are being assigned night shifts and overtime against the company’s policy.
To make matters worse, the internship is apparently part of their course, and students refusing participation in the placement are threatened with losing course credits. Additionally, some of the tasks they are given are completely unrelated to engineering or IT disciplines and include placing protective stickers on the consoles and putting cords and manuals in Playstation 4 boxes to make them ready for shipping.
Despite the threat of losing course credits, Foxconn has issued a statement saying that the internships are voluntary and that the students can quit at any time.
As far as Sony is concerned, the company issued a statement to Gamasutra saying that it is confident that Foxconn complies with Sony's Supplier Code of Conduct.
Foxconn has hit headlines numerous times in the past for its difficult working conditions and frighteningly high suicide rate amongst its workers. The factory has been responsible for fabricating electronics products from companies including Apple, Nintendo, Microsoft, HP, Dell and Toshiba in the past.