Foxconn Plans Chinese Union Vote

Kathrin Hille and Rahul Jacob
Financial Times
Foxconn, the contract manufacturer whose biggest customer is Apple, is preparing genuinely representative labour union elections in its factories in China for the first time, a powerful sign of changes in the workshop of the world demanded by an...

China to Tibetans: Stay Put

Robert Barnett
Atlantic
The Chinese Communist Party's repression of its Tibetan minority now extends, apparently, to travel. Few Tibetans have been issued passports since last spring. Beijing has yet to comment officially about this issue, but its approach to Tibet...

Opinion: Re-education Revisited

Nicholas Becquelin
New York Times
How much of a reformer is China’s new leader, Xi Jinping? The January announcement that China is going to stop “Re-education Through Labor” by the end of the year could offer an important clue.

Peak Toil

Economist
In the first of two articles about the impact of China’s one-child policy, The Economist looks at China's shrinking working-age population...

Apple and China: A Match Made in Heaven?

Zachary Keck
Diplomat
China has long played a major role in Apple’s success after it moved much of its manufacturing from the U.S. to China and other Asian nations in the 1990’s.

China’s ‘Lamborghini’ Coefficient

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
According to China's first official Gini coefficient figures in a decade, China today is more equal than in 2003. ...

Opinion: Will China End the One-Child Rule?

Vikas Bajaj
New York Times
Historically, China's supplied workers to the world. But as it ages the country might seek to recruit immigrants as labor. ...

Economists React: China's GDP Growth Hits 7.9% in Fourth Quarter

China Real Time Report
Wall Street Journal
Chinese growth is likely to stabilize around 8% this year after a more than two-year slowdown. 

Inside the Southern Weekly Incident

David Bandurski
China Media Project
A Hong Kong University media scholar's review of the strife that led to a strike at one of China's most influential newspapers...

Supporters Back Strike and Newspaper in China

Edward Wong
New York Times
Hundreds gathered outside the headquarters of a newspaper office in southern China to support journalists who had declared a strike to protest censorship by officials.

Chinese Survey Shows a Higher Jobless Rate

Tom Orlick
Wall Street Journal
A new survey shows that the real unemployment rate in China is double the official level, and layoffs rose sharply among migrant workers in the past year, underlining a challenge for China's new leaders to maintain growth. The survey...

Mr. China Comes to America

James Fallows
Atlantic
Near the end of this year’s second presidential debate, Candy Crowley of CNN pointed out that iPads, iPhones, and other globally sought-after Apple products are all made in China. What would it take, she asked both Mitt Romney and Barack...

An Alternative Look at China’s Labor Markets

Tom Orlik and MinJung Kim.
Wall Street Journal
Unemployment is arguably the most important, but least well measured, factor in China’s economy. Low unemployment and rising wages signal economic health, making it less likely that the government will rush to pump up growth. The reverse –...

Foxconn Labor Disputes Disrupt IPhone Output for 2nd Time

Alexandra Ho and Tim Culpan
Bloomberg
Foxconn Technology Group, the assembler of Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhones, had to stop production for the second time in as many weeks after factory-line workers at one of its plants protested against increased pressure.

The End of the Great Migration

Rob Schmitz
Marketplace
China’s great migration started with farmers boarding crowded trains in Sichuan, Henan, and Hubei - poor provinces in China’s interior. A day or two later, they arrived here, along the Pearl River Delta, just north of Hong Kong, and became factory...

China’s Low Glass Ceiling Threatens Growth

Alexandra Harney
Bloomberg
A sea change is rippling through many Chinese factories. A workforce once dominated by women is now increasingly male. China’s one-child policy chips away daily at its competitive advantage in manufacturing for export, first by...

What the Foxconn Riot Says About China

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
Day by day, Chinese workers expect better conditions and greater guarantees that when companies go bust, the employees will not. And, yet, China permits no independent trade unions or free collective bargaining. Complaint and mediation procedures...

The Persistence of Problems in China’s Factories

Stanley Lubman
Wall Street Journal
A riot involving 2,000 workers at a factory in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan on Sunday night once has once again shined a light on conditions at factories owned by Apple Inc. supplier Foxconn. The cause of the riot appears to have been a...

Debunking the China Myth

Yves Smith
Naked Capitalism
But even in the cases where the outsourcing cost savings were significant, the idea that American wages were way out of line with Chinese wages and the only future for American workers was grinding wages lower and lower to compete with China has...

TED Talk: The Voices of Chinese Workers

Leslie T. Chang
TEDTalks
n the ongoing debate about globalization, what's been missing is the voices of workers -- the millions of people who migrate to factories in China and other emerging countries to make goods sold all over the world. Reporter Leslie T. Chang...

Motorola Employees Protest against Layoffs

Tan Min
Hundreds of employees that could be laid off by Motorola China have protested in Beijing and Nanjing, calling for transparent procedures and fair treatment after the cell phone maker announced over 1,000 layoffs in the country.

Auditor Says Foxconn Is Improving Work Conditions

Rob Schmitz
Marketplace
If you own an Apple product, you might be interested in knowing how Apple's supply chain is doing. Six months ago, the Fair Labor Association, a labor group hired by Apple found a number of problems with iPhone and iPad maker Foxconn. Those...

Wage Rises in China May Ease Slowdown

Tom Orlik and Bob Davis
Wall Street Journal
Wages are still climbing rapidly in China and many companies are having trouble filling jobs despite the sharp economic slowdown here—evidence of a structural shortage in the labor market that may help China adjust to slower growth without political...

China Hires Tens of Thousands of North Korean Guest Workers

Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times
China is quietly inviting tens of thousands of North Korean guest workers into the country in a deal that will provide a cash infusion to help prop up a teetering regime with little more to export than the drudgery of a desperately poor population.

Reports

06.27.12

Beyond Foxconn: Deplorable Working Conditions Characterize Apple’s Entire Supply Chain

China Labor Watch
On June 14th, 2012 a Foxconn worker jumped to his death from his apartment building in Chengdu, marking the 18th reported worker suicide at Foxconn factories in China in just over two years. Many additional suicides may have gone unreported. But...

Books

06.12.12

Eating Bitterness

Michelle Dammon Loyalka
Every year over 200 million peasants flock to China’s urban centers, providing a profusion of cheap labor that helps fuel the country’s staggering economic growth. Award-winning journalist Michelle Dammon Loyalka follows the trials and triumphs of eight such migrants—including a vegetable vendor, an itinerant knife sharpener, a free-spirited recycler, and a cash-strapped mother—offering an inside look at the pain, self-sacrifice, and uncertainty underlying China’s dramatic national transformation. At the heart of the book lies each person’s ability to “eat bitterness”—a term that roughly means to endure hardships, overcome difficulties, and forge ahead. These stories illustrate why China continues to advance, even as the rest of the world remains embroiled in financial turmoil. At the same time, Eating Bitterness demonstrates how dealing with the issues facing this class of people constitutes China’s most pressing domestic challenge. —University of California Press{chop}

Caixin Media

05.18.12

Demography and Destiny

China is facing a demographic reckoning that is approaching a nightmare.For thirty years, the government has been obsessed with keeping population growth down, often resorting to late-term abortions and other brutal measures. The panic now is that...

Sinica Podcast

02.26.11

Troubles and Ambitions in China

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Watch your rice, folks. That’s our takeaway from this week’s Sinica, which ruminates on troubles old and new in the Middle Kingdom. Up for discussion in particular are Chinese activities in Rwanda, dodgy rice, ongoing worker troubles at Apple...

Sinica Podcast

06.04.10

Suicides, Strikes, and Labor Unrest in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
A spate of suicides leaves ten dead at the Shenzhen campus of Foxconn, the giant electronics manufacturer that makes many of the world’s most popular consumer electronics. A rare strike paralyzes production at Honda Motors, shutting down all of the...

Reports

12.01.08

The Impact of Introducing a Minimum Wage on Business Cycle Volatility: A Structural Analysis for Hong Kong SAR

Nathan Porter and Francis Vitek
Sara Segal-Williams
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
We study the impact of a minimum wage on business cycle volatility, depending upon its coverage and adjustment mechanism. As with other small open economies, Hong Kong SAR is vulnerable to external shocks, with its exchange rate regime precluding...

Reports

01.31.06

The Dynamics of Provincial Growth in China: A Nonparametric Approach

Bulent Unel and Harm Zebregs
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
China's growth record since the start of its economic reforms in 1978 has been extraordinary. Yet, this impressive performance has been associated with an increasing regional income disparity. The authors use a recently developed nonparametric...