Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn and the Lives of China’s Workers

Chicago: Haymarket Books (2020); London: Pluto Press (2020); translated into Korean (Narumbooks, 2021)

Outstanding Academic Titles 2022: China (CHOICE)

This insiders’ story about industrial protest within the international tech sector makes for an insightful volume. Authors Chan (Hong Kong Polytechnic Univ.), Selden (Cornell Univ.), and Pun (Univ. of Hong Kong) seek to assess the extent to which the Chinese state and global tech corporations have fulfilled their responsibilities to protect workers in the context of transnational production. The book comprises 12 chapters. Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, is the focus of chapters 1–4. The coverage of chapters 5–8 ranges over student interns, human costs of technology empire-building, unsettled lives, love, and desire for consumption. The current environmental crisis, work-related injuries, industrial protests, and labor rights are treated in chapters 9–12. The authors believe that “when workers, with support at home and abroad, unite to reclaim their dignity and right to fair labor,” there is a chance of improvement. The case of Foxconn, including both its present international profile (plants in 29 countries and territories) and its proposed extensions into the US, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world, “could inspire a new round of global labor struggles.”

Link to full content : https://www.choice360.org/choice-pick/outstanding-academic-titles-2022-china/

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