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Apple supplier Pegatron is facing criticism from a watchdog group for poor working conditions at its factories in China.
The Taiwanese electronics maker came under fire for allegedly violating Chinese labor laws with the publication Monday of a new 60-page report from New York-based China Labor Watch that documents conditions at the factories.
The alleged violations include unfairly deducting or failing to pay wages, providing insufficient worker training, and making overtime work mandatory, among others.
The report also questioned Apple’s efforts to cap the work week at its supplier factories to 60 hours. China Labor Watch’s investigation found that the hours ranged from 66 to 69 hours at the facilities, and that Pegatron was allegedly falsifying worker attendance to keep the reported hours down.
There have been rumors that Pegatron will make a budget iPhone for Apple.
China Labor Watch, which has been critical of Apple and Samsungfor their labor policies in China, investigated three Pegatron factories in China, one of which it claims is building the budget version of the iPhone. From March to July of this year, the group sent undercover investigators to work at the factories and interview nearly 200 employees.
Apple has been in “close contact” with China Labor Watch over the last several months, and is investigating the reported issues, the company said in a statement Monday.
Since 2007, the U.S. tech giant has conducted 15 audits of Pegatron facilities covering more than 130,000 workers, Apple said. In the past 18 months, surprise audits were made at two of the Pegatron factories named in China Labor Watch’s report.
“Our most recent survey in June found that Pegatron employees making Apple products worked 46 hours per week on average,” Apple added. The company, however, is sending teams to investigate the three Pegatron facilities this week, and is requiring the Taiwanese manufacturer to reimburse workers for any instances of unpaid compensation.
Pegatron is also investigating the claims and will correct any violations found, the company’s CEO Jason Cheng said in a statement. “We strive to make each day at Pegatron better than the last for our employees. They are the heart of our business,” he said.
China Labor Watch had previously accused the company of poor working conditions last year as it was meeting orders for the iPad Mini. In 2011, Pegatron also gained media attention after an explosion at a factory in Shanghai sent 61 workers to hospital.
In its latest report, the watchdog group claimed Pegatron had failed to create “effective grievance channels” so that workers could voice their concerns to management. A pregnant woman was also found logging overtime hours, a violation of Chinese labor laws, the group said.
Pegatron, however, said the company has spent the last two years establishing multiple channels so that workers can communicate their needs. “In addition, Pegatron helps create the educational programs including parenting seminars for pregnant workers, management courses, and accredited higher education classes,” the company added.
Apple and its suppliers have for years now faced criticism for working conditions at iPhone and iPad factories in China. But the U.S. company has pledged to protect its workers and provide a fair working environment for them. Last year, Apple invited the Fair Labor Association, to conduct audits of select factories of its supplier Foxconn Technology Group.
In May, the Fair Labor Association said Foxconn was making progress to improve conditions at the factory, but that working hours at the facility still exceed Chinese legal limits.
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We’re heading into Labor Day weekend with all of the best Apple deals, headlined by a massive sale at Best Buy. That’s alongside a rare HomePod mini discount to $75 alongside a series of official Apple Watch bands at all-time lows from $29. Hit the jump for all that and more in the latest 9to5Toys Lunch Break.Best Buy Apple Labor Day sale goes live
Labor Day weekend has arrived, and so too has the latest Best Buy sale. Now live through Monday, you’ll find one of the biggest selections of deals this year on everything from Apple releases, 4K TVs, smart home accessories, electric vehicles, and more. Among all of the Labor Day discounts, our top pick delivers the Apple Magic Keyboard for 12.9-inch iPad Pro to $199. This popular deal has returned one last time to close out the summer and is now matching the second-best price to date with $150 in savings attached. Delivering a unique floating hinge design to your iPad Pro, Apple’s Magic Keyboard levels up the typing experience with backlit keys alongside a built-in trackpad.
Magnetically connecting to the back of your device, it uses the Smart Connector while also bringing an additional USB-C port into the mix for supplying power to your device. On top of working with previous-generation iPad Pros, this will also work with the latest M1 device, as well. Get a closer look in our hands-on review.HomePod mini sees rare discount down to $75
Sam’s Club is now offering members the Apple HomePod mini in both colors for $75. Typically fetching $99, you’re looking at one of the best discounts to date on the latest smart speaker from Apple with 24% in savings to be had. This is also $14 under our previous in-store-only mention.
Arriving with the fabric-covered design in either black or white colorways you’d expect from Apple, HomePod mini delivers its latest smart speaker experience that brings Siri, Apple Music, Thread support into your setup. There’s a touchpad at the top that not only indicates when Siri is listening, but also lets you adjust audio playback with just a tap. You’ll also find Apple’s new U1 chip that allows for quick music handoff from an iPhone 12.Save on official Apple Watch bands starting at $29
Ahead of this month’s Apple event, Amazon is now discounting a selection of official Apple Watch bands, including a variety that rarely go on sale in the first place. Shipping is free across the board. Our top pick is the Apple Watch Modern Buckle Band for $99. Down from $149, you’re looking at only the second notable discount to date with 33% in savings attached and an Amazon all-time low.
As one of the more premium straps to pair with your Apple Watch, this official band arrives with a genuine Granada leather build with an inner layer of Vectran weave. The Modern Buckle lives up to its name with a two-piece magnetic clasp system that’s every bit as stylish as the leather it has been crafted from. Plus, shop additional styles from $29.abode iota HomeKit security system hits $270
The Labor Day savings are now moving over to the smart home side of things, as abode is getting in on the saving with its popular selection of security offerings. Right now, you can score its iota All-in-One HomeKit System at $270. Down from its usual $329 going rate, you’re looking at a new 2023 low that’s $22 under our previous mention and a total of $59 off. Rocking an integrated 1080p camera into the AiO design, abode’s iota system also features an integrated siren, motion sensor, and hub that pairs with the included door sensor and remote key fob. Everything integrates with HomeKit, allowing you to arm and disarm the system with Siri alongside your smartphone. You can get a closer look in our hands-on review.Satechi sitewide Labor Day sale takes 15% off Apple accessories
Following up this morning’s Best Buy sale, Satechi is now getting in on the Labor Day action with a series of price cuts of its own. Right now, you can take 15% off sitewide, including all of its popular Apple accessories and more. Leading the way is the new Satechi 108W 3-port USB-C GaN Charger at $64. Normally fetching $75, you’re looking at only the second notable discount with today’s offer marking the second-best price to date. Arriving as the brand’s latest charging accessory, its new 3-port offering can dish out 108W of power to three devices at a time. With a folding plug and form-factor that’s smaller than most other models out there, it is just as compelling for charging up a MacBook as it is iPad, iPhone, and more. Get a closer look in our Tested with 9to5Toys review.Best trade-in deals
9to5Mac also keeps tabs on all the best trade-in deals on iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and more every month. Be sure to check out this month’s best trade-in deals when you decide it’s time to upgrade your device. Or simply head over to our trade-in partner directly if you want to recycle, trade, or sell your used devices for cash and support 9to5Mac along the way!
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Because of the Great Firewall of China, persons planning to travel to China needs to make extra provisions for their internet access especially if they cannot do without accessing the restricted sites. Chinese citizens and persons living in China may the best VPNs to bypass this restriction when necessary.
The process of choosing a VPN to use in China requires more consideration than typical because the Chinese government, in 2023, put up a new restriction on the use of VPNs that are not approved by the state.
Wrapping up one’s decision and getting the VPN before embarking on the journey to China is also important as one may not be able to visit the websites that offer VPN services when they get to China.
Because of the restriction on internet usage in China, just any VPN won’t do, and we have put up three VPNs that are efficient, secure and well-priced. We have also considered the number of servers provided by the VPN in choosing the best three.
Another important feature of this VPN is the wide range of servers which it offers. It is also important to note that SaferVPN is based in Israel, and that’s good news for VPN users. Israel has laws that support internet privacy thus ensuring that VPN service providers do not keep logs. Thus, users of SaferVPN are assured of the highest level of safety.
It is also important to note that SaferVPN offers leak protection although the leak protection could use some upgrading which they are currently working on. This VPN also supports several protocols which include PTTP, IKEv2, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec protocols.
This is one VPN that has consistently implemented measures for bypassing internet usage restrictions in China. One of the special measures implemented by VyprVPN is the Chameleon protocol which is particularly adapted to bypass the restrictions in China. This Chameleon protocol is available for premium users of VyprVPN.
VyprVPN allows three or five simultaneous connections depending on the subscription plan of the user. The subscription plans offered by VyprVN are the standard and premium plans. The standard plan allows three simultaneous connections, while the premium plan allows five simultaneous connections.
The flexible pricing method of this VPN is another appealing feature it has. Even if unsure about the making the payments, there’s the 30-day money-back guarantee which one can utilize. VyprVPN also has a well-established 24-hour customer support service. With this customer support service, issues experienced by users can be easily resolved.
The speed of this VPN is another appealing feature worth mentioning. VyprVPN offers a very high speed of connection and has been dubbed one of the fastest VPNs currently on the market.
With VyprVPN, one is thus sure of bypassing the restrictions in China, especially with the Chameleon protocol.
NordVPN ensures that users in China are covered on all fronts and can access the Internet without any restriction. The different features of this VPN ensure the highest level of security and privacy bypassing the Great Firewall of China.
The first feature worth noting with this VPN is the high level of speed it offers, one of the fastest on the market. This high level of speed is attributed to the about 5,000 servers of this VPN. In terms of security, users are sure of premium security with the features of NordVPN which include a 2048-bit handshake and 256-bit encryption. This VPN also supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2 and SSTP protocols.
Affordability is another appealing feature of this VPN. At the prices at which this VPN is offered, it also allows six simultaneous connections, is compatible on several operating systems and has a kill switch. These features have made NordVPN quite popular with VPN users in China.
Before choosing the best VPN to use in China, it is important to consider a lot of options. We have put up three of such options. We have the list of the best VPN for China you can also go through before making your choice.
Due to an earthquake in Taiwan I have experienced again what it was like before the Internet existed. It’s liberating on the one hand, as there’s no need to check my mail every so many hours or keep track of what is written in the blogosphere.
It was also slightly frustrating as I had some domain names that were about to expire and some other business that needed attention. But without a working connection there is not much one can do.
The quake happened on Boxing Day and the Internet in China is still grappling with getting its international connections up to speed. The earthquake showed as well as how interconnected the world has become as how dependent even China is on it. Let’s hope Asia starts investing in more backup cables.
A not-working Internet doesn’t mean that there was no business done. Google has been very active in the last week.
Google invests in video download website Xunlei
Google has invested in Xunlei Network Technology, a Chinese website that offers a peer-to-peer video and software download services (through using tailor-made software) to Internet users. More than 80 million (or 100 million or maybe even 120 million, depending on the source) users have installed Xunlei’s software.
According to a quote from Xunlei co-founder and chief executive Sean Zou they expect to have 700 million users in 2007. I wonder how that will work, as there are only 132 million Internet users in China according to the latest statistics.
It’s not yet clear how the investment will be put to use.
Google wants to win back search market share from Baidu, currently the leading search engine in China. Having access to the Xunlei users and integrating search and their toolbar on the website and in the software may be one of the ways they will try to achieve this.
Xunlei is peer-to-peer, as mentioned, which means no hosting of files by Xunlei itself. From the point of possible copyright issues this seems better to handle, contrary to what Youtube is facing. Next to that, the downloading is done in China and IPR enforcement here is still rather light. Season 4 of Nip & Tuck is already available on dvd.
Business week has a nice write up on the popularity in China of the homegrown versions of MySpace and YouTube, if you’re interested to read more about this topic.
Google search on China Mobile Portal
Google will provide their search engine technology to China Mobile’s Monternet WAP portal. The portal offers sports and entertainment news, ringtones, games, images, videos and novels and other content. China Mobile is the world largest Telco with more than 250 million subscribers.
From the Google Press Center:
Wang Jianzhou, chairman of China Mobile, said: “We are delighted to be providing China Mobile users with mobile and Internet search services via our cooperation with Google. Mobile search will help users access the information they need more easily and quickly. This is an important move for China Mobile’s transformation into a mobile information expert. China Mobile will unite the industry chain, rapidly enhancing the whole industry’s value. Our cooperation will not only satisfy our users’ diverse communication needs but also build a new mobile world for Chinese users to communicate freely and live comfortably.
I use this quote as I always enjoy the PR blurb Chinese style. I also hope China Mobile will cut back the time in delivering my sms. The idea is that it gets there before I meet up with someone.
Philipp from Google Blogoscoped ponders whether Google will bring along their infamous censorship module, too. They probably will, but that won’t stop Chinese users to communicate freely.
The last week shows that Google is actively creating partnerships in China to strengthen their foothold. Seeing what happened to Yahoo and eBay that both sold out their businesses to Chinese Internet firms their strategy is smarter. Partnering up on the sideline but keeping their core product, their search engine, in their own hands.
My gut feel says that Google will win back market share in China, maybe not soon but eventually they will. It’s the only prediction for the Chinese Internet market I dare to make.
Gemme van Hasselt is an Internet Marketing Consultant, living in Shanghai, China.
The once-pioneering BlackBerry is pretty much out of the smartphone manufacturing game, but the Canadian company has been busy transitioning to providing software for connected devices, including smart cars. Now it’s brought that section of its business to China.
This week, BlackBerry declared it will be occupying the Grade 3 driving domain control of Xpeng, among those most-funded electric car startups in China and Tesla’s neighborhood challenger.
Founded in Xpeng’s smart cockpit is BlackBerry’s operating system known as QNX, which competes together with the likes of Android and Linux to input automakers’ next-gen versions.
Constructed between BlackBerry and Xpeng’s tie-up is middleman Desay SV, that specializes in automotive system integrators such as Aptiv.
Also read: Top 10 Successful SaaS Companies Of All Times
The kernel of all Xpeng’s domain is NVIDIA’s Xavier cockpit processor for automatic automobiles, so a fantastic amount of hardware and software at Xpeng’s new automobile relies on international technologies.
The mass-produced Xpeng version from the spotlight is an electrical sports sedan numbered P7. It sports a processing unit which may compute”the vehicle’s driving position and supplies 360-degree omnidirectional understanding with real-time tracking of the surrounding environment to make safe driving decisions,” according to the statement.
Also read: 10 Top Android Apps For Personal Finances
“To this end, it is a real chance to possess BlackBerry technology powering the smart driving system in Xpeng Motors revolutionary new P7 system”
The venture arrives as Alibaba and Xiaomi backed-Xpeng is eying to increase around $1.1 billion in its first public offering at New York. Its Chinese competitions Li Automobile and NIO increased similar numbers in their U.S. IPOs.
Foxconn assembles about 70% of the iPhones Apple sells. However, its production may have fallen by 30% due to supply disruptions. Currently, Foxconn’s iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models are severely affected. Apple is struggling to maintain supply, with iPhone 14 Pro models currently facing at least four-week delays in shipments from Apple’s online store in the US. At the moment, online stores in China are facing a 4 – 5 week delivery delay.
Analyst reports show that in the 13th week after the release of the iPhone 14 series, the global delivery time of the iPhone 14 Pro series has been shortened from 35 days in the previous week to 29 days. However, the shipment time of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus remains at 3 days. These two models are not as attractive as the Pro models. The shortened global delivery time of the iPhone 14 Pro series means that delivery times in major markets around the world have also improved significantly.iPhone 14 Pro series production capacity is improving
Apart from the troubles at the Foxconn factory in China, the pandemic is still affecting Apple. The production of the iPhone 14 Pro series is yet to return to normal levels. Thus, deliveries of the new Pro iPhones are delayed. The delivery time of the iPhone 14 Pro series is also longer than the same period in previous generations. Analysts are now looking at week by week capacity of iPhone production. Relative to the previous week, analysts say that the iPhone 14 Pro series production capacity is better.Gizchina News of the week
Join GizChina on TelegramiPhone 14 Pro series production is still struggling
In the above four major markets, the delivery time of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus is shorter. The sales of the lower iPhone 14 series models are also more stable than that of the Pro series. The US market is stable at 4 days, and the Chinese market reduces from 2 days to 1 day. The UK market reduces from 4 days to 3 days. The analyst said in the report that compared with the iPhone 13 series in the same period, the delivery time of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus is basically the same. However, the delivery time of the latest iPhone Pro series is longer.
Obviously, the new iPhones are facing a situation. The production capacity of the iPhone 14 Pro series is better. Also, the delivery time of the new iPhones is also reduced. However, analysts claim that the current delivery time is still longer than before the Foxconn factory had pandemic issues. Thus, the new iPhone production is yet to reach its regular normal levels.iPhone 14 Pro / Pro Max supply will reduce by 6 million units this year
Back in November, there were reports that the Pro series production will largely reduce. Due to factors such as supply disruptions at Foxconn factories, there may be a reduction in the production of 6 million Pro series in 2023. The Pro series is currently Apple’s most-demanded model. However, the company is struggling to ship them. The supply of iPhone 14 Pro models has also seen new variables as production continues to be severely affected.
According to a Bloomberg report, an insider familiar with the Foxconn factory said that Apple may be producing nearly 6 million fewer iPhones than expected. That number could improve as the situation changes. This to a large extent depends on how quickly Foxconn can resume normal operations. Sources say Foxconn factories need at least 100,000 workers to get production back on track.
Apple said in early November that demand for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models remains strong. However, due to reduced supply chain capacity, shipments of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are expected to be lower than previously expected. This also means that potential buyers of this device will have to wait longer to receive new products.Situation at Foxconn
Due to pressure from Apple and COVID-19, Foxconn recently hired around 100,000 new employees. This new recruitment comes after thousands had panicked after a COVID outbreak among staff in October. Some of the staff point out that they were recruited by Foxconn under false promises. For this reason, there has been a breakdown of law and order at the factor. The Chinese government placed stringent COVID-19 restrictions. Due to the strict restrictions, Foxconn had to stop workers from leaving the factory environment. However, the conditions of living in the factory are not decent.
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