Nanfang TV: “Factory Girls” author interviews Dongguan factory workers

Posted: 09/17/2012 12:58 pm

The iPhone 5 is set to be released in the United States, Hong Kong, and a few other places later this week, and the sparkly new phone is putting renewed focus on conditions inside the Chinese factories where the devices are made.

Leslie T. Chang wrote an excellent book on life inside PRD factories called Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China in 2008, and says workers inside these factories aren’t just toiling to meet the needs of decadent western consumers:

“We, the beneficiaries of globalization seem to exploit these victims with every purchase we make and the injustice feels embedded in the products themselves,” Chang says. “This simple narrative equating Western demand and Chinese suffering is appealing … but it’s also inaccurate and disrespectful. We must be peculiarly self-obsessed to imagine that we have the power to drive tens of millions of people on the other side of the world to migrate and suffer in such terrible ways … By focusing so much on ourselves and our gadgets, we have rendered the individuals on the other ends into invisibility, as tiny and interchangeable as the parts of a mobile phone.”

She argues these employees are also working for a better life for themselves, their families, and their offspring. You can watch one of her talks on the issue below, in the latest edition of Nanfang TV.


New, unreleased iPhone floating around Shenzhen if you have a spare RMB50k

Posted: 08/22/2012 10:29 am

The suspense is building for the release of Apple’s next iPhone, but leaked photos indicate the phone — or a version of it — is already all over Shenzhen, where the device is expected to be manufactured.

Several tech websites are reporting that the case of the new iPhone has been circulating in the city for quite sometime, which helps manufacturers prepare new cases and bumpers in time for launch.  It’s believed Apple will unveil the newest iPhone, which some people are calling the iPhone 5, on September 12.

The leaked case shows a much longer device, but the width appears the same, which will continue to allow one-handed typing.

While parts of the new phone may be circulating around Huaqiangbei, the cost of borrowing (that’s right, they’re not for sale as far as we know) the components for 24 hours equals the price of more than three new Retina Macbook Pros: RMB50,000.  Worth it?

One wonders what the deposit will be, if the borrowing cost is RMB50k.

Photos below.



iPhone… er… HiPhone 5 now on sale in Shenzhen for a mere $31

Posted: 08/16/2011 11:48 am

HiPhone 5

We know there are a lot of Apple fans out there, judging by the number of MacBooks, iPhones and iPads we see at hipster hangouts across the PRD. The good news for you guys is the iPhone 5 is right around the corner. They are likely being assembled, as we speak, a few blocks from here in Foxconn’s Shenzhen factory.

The latest news is the iPhone 5 will be released sometime in October, which is well over a year after the iPhone 4 was made available to the public. That’s right, the iPhone 4 is getting a bit long in the tooth. So if you can’t wait until iPhone 5 is released, then we suggest perhaps considering the HiPhone 5. Details from one of our favorite sites, Shanzai (which we believe is a pinyin spelling error):

At the very first sight you will really get confused as it’s the Apple’s upcoming iPhone because the hiPhone 5 is based on the leaked dimensions and design of iPhone 5. Although not much info about the hiPhone 5 is available it looks thinner than the iPhone 4 and comes with less rounded edges. The hiPhone 5 comes in multiple colors like black, white, pink and red. For sure, hiPhone 5 is four times cheaper than the original.

Although Apple is madly chasing behind everyone accusing for violating its patents, the smartphone giant is helpless to prevent all these Chinese pirated products.

Those linked dimensions the article refers to point to a bigger screen, thinner device (of course) and more rounded back. The HiPhone 5 incorporates all of these into a price point that makes sense for Shenzhen’s multitude of computer markets.

If you want to take one of these devices for a spin, you can find them on Taobao for about RMB 204-275.