As you can see from the image above, TIME magazine’s cover story that hits newsstands tomorrow for both the U.S. and international editions is titled, “Made in China: Why Apple’s future depends on the world’s biggest market”. While noting increasing iPhone sales in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong greatly contributed to Apple’s record earnings of $39.2 billion and ($7.9 billion for Greater China) reported in April, TIME’s Hannah Beech questions, “How much longer will an increasingly nationalistic government allow foreign companies like Apple to profit so handsomely on its shores?” The full story titled “The Cult of Apple in China” is available to TIME subscribers here. An excerpt is below:
The vast majority of Chinese aren’t up in arms about labor conditions at Apple’s supplier factories. A cluster of suicides by Foxconn workers a couple of years ago elicited much more coverage in the West than in China…. Yet Foxconn keeps signing on new workers, even though many other companies complain of labor shortages as Chinese youth increasingly eschew factory work. (Apple runs educational programs for workers in supplier factories.)… Even after all the criticism of Foxconn—the suicides, the industrial accidents, the punishing hours—young Chinese still want a job making Apple devices…
…Apple’s relationship with the People’s Republic embodies some of the global economy’s brightest opportunities but also its thorniest dilemmas. An American tech giant must decide how much to adapt its practices in a faraway land. Should Apple represent the best of the West in the Middle Kingdom, or must it conform to the less salubrious way China Inc. operates? From China’s side, how much longer will an increasingly nationalistic government allow foreign companies like Apple to profit so handsomely on its shores? Caught in the middle are 1.3 billion Chinese whose toil in factories and taste for luxury products will dictate the future of the world’s marketplace.
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