Suicides, excessive overtime, and hostility and violence on the factory floor in China. Drawing on vivid testimonies from rural migrant workers, student interns, managers and trade union staff, Dying for an iPhone is a devastating expose of two of the world's most powerful companies: Foxconn and Apple.
As the leading manufacturer of iPhones, iPads, and Kindles, and employing one million workers in China alone, Taiwanese-invested Foxconn's drive to dominate global electronics manufacturing has aligned perfectly with China's goal of becoming the world leader in technology. This book reveals the human cost of that ambition and what our demands for the newest and best technology means for workers.
Foxconn workers have repeatedly demonstrated their power to strike at key nodes of transnational production, challenge management and the Chinese state, and confront global tech behemoths. Dying for an iPhone allows us to assess the impact of global capitalism's deepening crisis on workers.
"Dying for an iPhone is an absolutely necessary read for anyone seeking to understand the realities of modern-day capitalism. Contrary to the mythology of Silicon Valley, this carefully researched book explains why companies like Apple owe their success more to exploitation than to innovation." --Wendy Liu, author of Abolish Silicon Valley: How to Liberate Technology from Capitalism
"Dying for an iPhone balances heartbreaking worker interviews with carefully compiled employment and financial data from Apple and Foxconn to present a compelling case against the tech giant and its suppliers." --Booklist
About the Author:
Jenny Chan (Ph.D. 2014) is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and China Studies in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is also a Member of the Sub-committee on "Community, Organization and Globalisation" Subjects (a Sub-committee of the Academic Planning and Regulations Committee), and a Management Committee Member of the China Research and Development Network, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Mark Selden is a Senior Research Associate in the East Asia Program, Cornell University and Professor Emeritus of Sociology and History, State University of New York at Binghamton. He is the editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. His research encompasses the modern and contemporary geopolitics, political economy and history of China, Japan and the Asia Pacific, ranging broadly across themes of war and revolution, inequality, development, environment, precarity, social movements, regional and world social change, and historical memory. In 1968 he was a founding member of The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars and for more than thirty years he was an editor of The Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars and subsequently of Critical Asian Studies. He is the author or editor of more than thirty books and editor of book series at Rowman & Littlefield, Routledge, M.E. Sharpe, and Lexington Publishers.
Pun Ngai is Assistant Professor in the Division of Social Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She is coeditor of Remaking Citizenship in Hong Kong: Community, Nation, and the Global City and the founder and chair of the Chinese Working Women Network, a grassroots organization of migrant women factory workers in China.