While following a lead about a "secret" supply facility for Apple in China, a Reuters correspondent was kicked and intimidated, and almost dragged into a factory against his will. This all took place on a main, public road in China.
"Tipped by a worker outside the Longhua complex that a nearby Foxconn plant was manufacturing parts for Apple too, our correspondent hopped in a taxi for a visit to" FoxConn, a manufacturing company "which makes products for a range of companies," writes Reuters in its report about the facility.
"As he stood on the public road taking photos of the front gate and security checkpoint, a guard shouted. The reporter continued snapping photos before jumping into a waiting taxi. The guard blocked the vehicle and ordered the driver to stop, threatening to strip him of his taxi license.
"The correspondent got out and insisted he was within his rights as he was on the main road. The guard grabbed his arm. A second guard ran over, and with a crowd of Foxconn workers watching, they tried dragging him into the factory.
"The reporter asked to be let go. When that didn't happen, he jerked himself free and started walking off. The older guard kicked him in the leg, while the second threatened to hit him again if he moved. A few minutes later, a Foxconn security car came along but the reporter refused to board it. He called the police instead."
When police arrived, the guards apologized, but the police officer did tell the report, "This is Foxconn and they have a special status here. Please understand."
The confrontation was reported as part of an exhaustive investigation into Apple's overseas operations and the secrecy therein. According to the news story, Apple sometimes sends dummy projects to third-party companies just to see if it gets leaked. Last year, a manufacturing employee jumped out of his apartment building to his death when he was being questioned over a lost iPhone prototype.
Apple does not condone any of these extreme practices, but the manufacturing plants know that if they don't clamp down, someone else will get the job. Read the full story on Reuters.
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