Nintendo investigating Wii U manufacturer after child labor admission

Mario maker looking into operations at Foxconn following the company's admission of utilizing children under 16.

Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, which is responsible for assembling the Wii U, among numerous other devices, has admitted to employing workers under the age of 16. In a statement to Reuters, the company said, "Our investigation has shown that the interns in question, who ranged in age from 14 to 16, had worked in that campus for approximately three weeks." This represents a violation of China's labor law.

As a response to this, Nintendo issued a comment to IGN, stating the company is launching an investigation into the findings.

"Nintendo is in communication with Foxconn and is investigating the matter. We take our responsibilities as a global company very seriously and are committed to an ethical policy on sourcing, manufacture, and labor," the company said.

Use of child labor is a violation of Nintendo's Corporate Social Responsibility Procurement Guidelines. In adherence with these guidelines, Nintendo must conduct regular on-site inspections of companies, like Foxconn, to check worker morale, interview administrators, and pore over records.

"If we were to find that any of our production partners did not meet our guidelines, we would require them to modify their practices according to Nintendo’s policy," Nintendo said.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

277 comments
Coren_Larken
Coren_Larken

Child Labor from the company that had its employees threaten mass suicide.

 

I think at some point, we as consumers will have to be willing to pay higher prices for our electronic devices if we really want this kind of thing to stop.

toyo75
toyo75

I can understand the child labor suspicion the moment I read, "Chinese manufacturer."

rann89
rann89

This is new and surprising.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

Why is it such a big deal for young teenagers to work in some countries?

 

I was a paper boy at age 11, getting up every week day of the year (including Christmas) at 5:00AM to do my job. It was one of the best things for me. These days kids don't have to do anything, because nobody wants them to grow as people.

bennie12
bennie12

It said interns from ages 14 to 16, who worked there for three weeks.

 

Who gives a sh!t, if they were one or two years older then no one would care, what is the difference.

 

Maybe they want the job and it is the only way their family can make money, maybe they are lucky kids where they come from.

steelmouth
steelmouth

i thought companies that outsource their manufacturing to China do it because of its cheap child labour

decoy1978
decoy1978

Foxconn has been in the middle of a bunch of supposed malpractice for employees. Yet they are never penalized! From Apple to Nintendo, as long as these underage workers build their $$$ systems for apparently $5 a week everyone is happy.

 

I can see why these outsourced jobs are killing homegrown American companies. Paying someone double as to what some chinese kid can do is apparently a bad model for business...

woodyfr
woodyfr

Apple investigated Foxconn plant after a series of suicides (2 years ago) and they found nothing. They only care about their margins.

They asked Siri  :

- "Are there any problems in our cheap Foxconn plant ?"

- "No Sir, everything is fine, people are very happy here"

- "OK, back to Cupertino !"

Poor Chinese !

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

ms acer sony use them to i feel bad for having stuff from where they have kids work. i wonder who sega use to use because i have every sega console there ever was.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Not happy that it breaks the law... But perfectly happy to have people work for nothing as long as they're over that age... Gotta love the morals.

Acid_Kenobi
Acid_Kenobi

What the fuck is Nintendo, Apple, Sony and god knows who else that uses Foxconn to build their shit doing??!! Have none of these people got kids?? Disgusting

xcollector
xcollector

Why do companies and or people even bother pretending to be 'shocked' by news like this. This happens all the time in China and the companies and people continue to support China's manufacturing because they want stuff cheap. The sad truth is those kids probably need the money badly so their family won't have to move into a cardboard box.  

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

So what about all the other electronics manufactured by Foxconn? I find it funny that Nintendo is being attacked over this when so many electronic giants use Foxconn... 

 

Also if people were really concerned about this they wouldn't be buying anything made in third world countries(and China).

suprsolider
suprsolider

I bet most of the child labour is on the Apple side of things making overpriced and crappy iPhones,iPads,iPods.

Diablo-B
Diablo-B

Nice to see Nintendo speak out about this, hopefully the other companies that are partnered with foxconn will speak out. However,

 

Japan has been dealing with economic issues for a while now.

The US and Europe has been dealing with their economies and unemployment. If they really cared about ethical conditions these companies would employ workers from their own country so they could not only deal first hand with the "ethical" manufacturing of their products but also help their country's economies. 

 

They really  only care about profits and avoiding bad press.

jake44
jake44

Nintendo, made for kids!  Made by kids!

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

>like Foxconn, to check worker morale, interview administrators, and pore over records.

>worker morale

>Foxconn

>morale

drybones41
drybones41

Not exactly that surprising, child labor isn't that uncommon in the world. At least nintendo is trying to do something.

Halloll
Halloll

they could make this work in their favor through smart PR. the new slogan : made by children, for children. jk

SciFiCat
SciFiCat

Chinese factories with dubious work ethics, you don't say?! 

Oxo_64
Oxo_64

Good on them.

 

Foxconn also put together the XBox 360 and PS3 but you don't see Sony or Microsoft giving a crap. Where was all this press when those consoles were being made?

istuffedsunny
istuffedsunny

As if they're actually going to do anything. Nothing matters as long as fat American children can get their electronics for cheap.

Setzera
Setzera

 @flammable_zeus

 You also weren't told that if you didn't do it, you would be kicked out of school, and be barred from getting an education.

rann89
rann89

 @flammable_zeus You walked around, got a decent wage, and went home once you were done with your route. You didn't stand in one spot, putting things together for 12+ hours a day to earn a dollar a day, if that.

AmnesiaHaze
AmnesiaHaze

 @steelmouth yes they do , only if they get caught they try to downplay it by acting shocked like they were unaware :D

rann89
rann89

 @ArabrockermanX Nintendo isn't the only one being attacked. This article is about Nintendo, hence why Nintendo is mentioned. It makes no sense to read a Nintendo article then start talking about Apple in it.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @ArabrockermanX Scroll down the comment list a bit and you'll see my post listing all the companies that I found to be using Foxconn.

LesserAngel
LesserAngel

 @Suikogaiden What are you talking about? They have the entire family involved! that sounds like it's family friendly to me.

Lamesy
Lamesy

Way to comment on the salient information: Apple is overpriced!::SUH::

RabidBurp
RabidBurp

 @Oxo_64 

Microsoft and Sony don't give a damn about who they step on to get profits, including underage children.

bsnimunf
bsnimunf

 @rann89  @flammable_zeus I used to earn 1 pound a day to do my paper round, then they doubled the size of the round and refused to pay me extra. It was less than 50pence an hour. I would prefer to make the Wii U.

Hellhound30x
Hellhound30x

 @badstyle My comment was meant like this. "DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT NINTENDO!"  get it?

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

 @RabidBurp  @Oxo_64 Well neither does Nintendo...  They are only coming out and apologizing because the media decided to launch some selective attacks and they happened to be on the receiving end. If only Foxconn were being attacked or MS/Sony/Apple Nintendo would have ignored this.

vannacut
vannacut

 @ziproy  @SythisTaru  @EnforcerICE  @flammable_zeus not anymore, china is wealthier than most western countries... no a dollar per day wages. you gotta keep updating your knowledge of foreign countries. and not limit that to what you see in a camera that recorded .00000000001 section of a whole country....

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

 @ziproy  @SythisTaru  @EnforcerICE Well I don't know the conditions that these people were working in, but if people were getting worked up about things more important than these people being teenagers, they should be reporting on that instead.

badstyle
badstyle

 @Lamesy Yeah. Also to consider is that as the Wii U is already about to launch they've no doubt got millions of units all ready and waiting to ship. What damage that has been done is already water under the bridge in terms of their launch window. And the next time they need millions of units to ship will be next winter, when I'm certain any problems will be resolved. Strange how no other company who use foxconn are mentioned in this article, and neither are they launching a console this winter...

 

I personally suspect that this is probably a bit of problem pr from sony or microsoft, though this is entirely speculative.

Lamesy
Lamesy

 @badstyle That's the problem IMO - Nintendo really has to launch this console on time. They'll take their sweet time investigating, a couple months of "action-planning," and then possibly some implementation of standards next spring. This "investigating" business is good for at least a few months of PR stalling.

badstyle
badstyle

 @Hellhound30x I'm sure none of this will impact on supply - unless Nintendo wanted it to. But hopefully it will get sorted.

badstyle
badstyle

 @Hellhound30x It would appear that they now know this to be the case and are imposing their policies accordingly. It is China's government which need to do something about it. get it?