updated 10:08 am EDT, Fri August 16, 2013
Positions suggest more work on pollution, worker rights
Apple now has over 200 job listings active in China via LinkedIn, notes the Wall Street Journal. The influx started roughly three weeks ago, with a number of jobs having been added within just the last three days. At least some of these appear to be addressed at dealing with pollution and workers' rights abuses in Apple's supply chain; the company is for instance hiring supplier responsibility product managers, and an environmental affairs program manager.
Two of Apple's main suppliers, Foxconn and Pegatron, have regularly been accused of violating labor and pollution laws, as well as Apple's own supplier standards. Some of the labor violations have included excessive and/or unpaid overtime, the use of underage workers, and management control of unions. Media and activist pressure has led to some improvements, but problems persist.
From a profit standpoint, China is an extremely important market to Apple. An increasing number of Chinese can now afford the company's products, and the sheer population size of the country makes it important to establish a foothold now in the face of intense competition from rival phone and computer makers, many of which are local.