Foxconn reports underage interns at Yantai factory
In this file photo taken on May 22, 2010, visitors to a job fair walk past the Foxconn recruitment area in Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong province. / AP Photo, File
Foxconn admitted Tuesday that it has found underage interns working at its Yantai factory.
Foxconn manufactures over half the world's electronics for tech giants, like Apple, Samsung and Sony. Recent allegations that it employed forced student labor may have sparked the company to scrutinize its working conditions.
Foxconn investigated its own factories and found that interns as young as 14 were working at its Yantai factory. It's not clear if the company has examined any of its other factories. Foxconn did not immediately respond to CBS News' request for comment.
"We recognize that full responsibility for these violations rests with our company and we have apologized to each of the students for our role in this action," Foxconn said in a statement. "Any Foxconn employee found, through our investigation, to be responsible for these violations will have their employment immediately terminated."
New York-based non-profit China Labor Watch told the New York Times in September that Foxconn forced students to work at its plants to address staffing issues caused by the high demand for Apple's iPhone 5.
According to the Associated Press, the Yantai factory does not manufacture Apple products. China Labor Watch executive director Li Quang told CBS News over the phone that he suspects the factory makes electronics for Japanese video game companies.
Foxconn has been at the center controversy over working conditions at several factories. Most recently, its Taiyuan plant was forced to close in September after workers rioted over a pay dispute.
The company came under fire following a New York Times expose in January, which painted a picture of suffering factory workers at its Chengdu plant, where Apple products are made.
Foxconn and Apple made an agreement earlier this year to improve working conditions, which would affect all of Foxconn's factories. Three plants were investigated by the Fair Labor Association in order to make an assessment on labor violations: Guanlan, Longua and Chendgu.
Foxconn employs about 1.2 million people in several cities in China.
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