It has been alleged that controversial Chinese manufacturer Foxconn has been using forced labour as part of its PS4 manufacturing operation.
GamesInAisa cites reports emerging in China claiming that “thousands of students from an IT engineering program at the Xi’an Institute of Technology are being forced to work at Foxconn’s Yantai plant assembling the Sony PlayStation 4”.
It is claimed that what is being advertised as an ‘internship’ is in reality nothing of the sort, with students instead being given jobs on the manufacturing line
The report adds that: “Students have been told if they refuse to participate, they lose six course credits, which effectively means they will not be able to graduate” and that “students say that their working hours are exactly the same as regular workers – the only difference is that unlike the workers, the students aren’t being paid”.
In a statement supplied to MCV Sony said that Foxconn has been found to be fully compliant with its own code of conduct.
“The Sony Group established the ‘Sony Supplier Code of Conduct’ in June 2005 with the expectation of every supplier agreeing and adhering to the policies of the Sony Group in complying with all applicable laws, work ethics, labour conditions, and respect for human rights, environmental conservation and health and safety,” it said.
“We understand Foxconn fully comprehend and comply with this ‘Sony Supplier Code of Conduct’.”
UPDATE: As spotted by CVG, Foxconn has admitted in a statement to Quartz that students were indeed forced to work on the PS4 manufacturing line, but insists it has taken measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Said Foxconn: “Immediate actions have been taken to bring that campus into full compliance with our code and policies, reinforcing the policies of no overtime and no night shifts for student interns, even though such work is voluntary, and reminding all interns of their rights to terminate their participation in the program at any time.”