Marketplace’s Shanghai Bureau Chief, Rob Schmitz was the second reporter granted access to tour the factory floor of Foxconn. After debunking a large portion of actor, and NPR contributor, Mike Daisey’s account regarding Apple’s factory practices in China, Schmitz wrote a detailed report of his experience there, but the video below provides a rare glimpse inside Foxconn’s Shenzhen iPad factory – revealing its inner workings, including how the popular iPad is made.
Schmitz and his crew were permitted to film a number of active stations on the iPad assembly line that have never been seen before. The footage shows how factory workers use both hand assembly and machinery to put together an iPad. Viewers can see how the screen is put together, quality control monitors the back cover for scratches, and how the testing of the gyroscope is carried out.
Surprised by the sheer scale of the facility, Schmitz writes in his Reporter’s Notebook:
The first misconception I had about Foxconn’s Longhua facility in the city of Shenzhen was that I’ve always called it a ‘factory’ — technically, it is. But after you enter the gates and walk around, you quickly realize that it’s also a city — 240,000 people work here. Nearly 50,000 of them live on campus in shared dorm rooms.
See highlights from his tour of the assembly line and the Foxconn facilities in the video below: