Apple, Foxconn, and Chinese workers’ struggles from a global labor perspective
PUN Ngai, SHEN Yuan, GUO Yuhua, LU Huilin, Jenny CHAN, and Mark SELDEN
ABSTRACT To enrich the discussion of global labor, between 2010 and 2016, we studied Apple’s value chain, Foxconn’s mode of labor control, and Chinese workers’ struggles. Through our fieldwork in China we also examined Apple’s and Foxconn’s responses to the spate of worker suicides, workers’ resistance, the activism of scholar and student groups, and transnational justice campaigns. We conclude with reflection on global labor studies in light of the debates between Karl Polanyi’s counter movement and Karl Marx’s class-based struggle.
Keywords: Apple, Foxconn, Chinese Workers, Student and Scholar Activism, Global Labor Studies
Notes on contributors
PUN Ngaiis Professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences and Director of China Research and Development Network at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
SHEN Yuanis Deputy Chair and Professor in the Department of Sociology at Tsinghua University.
GUO Yuhuais Professor in the Department of Sociology at Tsinghua University.
LU Huilin is Professor in the Department of Sociology at Peking University.
Jenny CHAN (PhD in 2014) is Lecturer in Sociology and China Studies at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, and a Junior Research Fellow (2015-2018) of Kellogg College, University of Oxford.
Mark SELDEN is Senior Research Associate in the East Asia Program at Cornell University, Research Fellow at the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Institute at New York University, Professor Emeritus at Binghamton University, and Editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal.