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VIDEO: Watch an iPad get made from the Foxconn factory floor


Video shot and produced by Rob Schmitz; Edited by Jeff Peters

8 a.m., Foxconn Longhua Facility, Shenzhen. An iPad assembly line leader conducts roll call. Nearly a quarter million people work at this facility, making it one of the largest factories in the world.

Marketplace Shanghai Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz is only the second reporter ever to gain access to visit the factory floor at Apple's Chinese producer Foxconn. In this exclusive video, see highlights from his tour of the assembly line and the Foxconn campus and facilities to see what living and working conditions are like for the hundreds of thousands of workers there.

Read his Reporter's Notebook for more insight and analysis from his trip:

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.

There’s a main drag lined on both sides with fast-food restaurants, banks, cafes, grocery stores, a wedding photo shop, and an automated library. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, a gym, two enormous swimming pools, and a bright green astroturf soccer stadium smack-dab in the middle of campus. There’s a radio station -- Voice of Foxconn -- and a television news station. Longhua even has its own fire department, located right on main street.

This is not what comes to mind when you think “Chinese factory.” read the full story.

Listen to part one of his report on what life's like for workers at Foxconn, and follow our complete coverage in the Apple Economy section on our website.

8 a.m., Foxconn Longhua Facility, Shenzhen. An iPad assembly line leader conducts roll call. Nearly a quarter million people work at this facility, making it one of the largest factories in the world.

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Hon Hai has become the world's largest electronics manufacturer after years of helping Apple and other tech giants put together their gadgets. That experience means it brings a number of advantages to the table. source http://www.retailbrandconnection.co.uk/

Wow, I didn't know that people actually live and sleep there. I thought for everyone it's just a job, like they go at 9 am and then go back home to their families at 5 pm and have a warm cup of coffee. There was also another website http://www.seocompanylosangeles.biz that talked about the same topic.

I'm sorry but a tour conducted by the management of foxconn is hardly what I would call unbiased reporting... And if we are suddenly going to be fact checking everything where is the sourcing for the claims that most workers are 18-25? Is foxconn's word all that we have? Was any actual analysis done to interview workers away from the presence of the factory? And just because these jobs may pay well compared to other horrible work doesn't make them good or defensible. Saying that 'it could be worse' is a pretty poor defense. If people are interested in actually reading from somebody who engaged in reporting about factories in China I would suggest this article: http://motherjones.com/environment/2012/03/walmart-china-sustainability-... From a reputable news source... Any chance that marketplace is going to try and source foxconn's supply lines? Any chance that they would/did let you decide which building and which line to see without advance notice? If 250,000 people work on that factory campus how is 1 assembly line going to prove anything??? Blah this is everything but investigative reporting!

Everyone wants goods at a low price in the us, but no one understands the economics of the situation in china or the social situation...which do you prefer, the low price at retail, or working/ living conditions acceptable to the American palette? It truly is a choice.

Why is that title "Are Walmart's Chinese Factories as Bad as Apple's?" since they don't cover Apple at all in that article. What do they know about how bad are Apple's factories that they claim they compare to Walmarts? Is Mike Daisey their source?

well I'm happy that you clearly didn't read the article (I know it's a lot of work) but in that article they discuss walmart and manufacturing as a whole in China and a lot of the untold stories & aspects that are completely ignored in this marketplace piece and they actually talk to multiple sources and approach it from more than just one angle...

Mother Jonz, isn't that the American Communist Party? How would a granola maker know anything about a competitive work environment? Say, wouldn't it be a good idea for Mother Jonz to investigate Whole Foods or something? Isn't Mother Jonz a place to find out how to get better marajana growth yield???

Thank you for the report. This is why I like and trust MarketPlace. It is a place I can come to for unbiased opinions, and non-sensationalized information.

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