Mixed reactions in China to calls for an Apple boycott

January 30, 2012

Web users in China have had mixed reactions to calls appearing in overseas media for consumers to stop buying Apple products because of the breaches of workers rights, health & safety violations and the environmental impact of the company's supply chain in The Middle Kingdom.

Some say they are prepared to follow suit. "Our boycott aims to ensure that we will never make a useless sacrifice. Otherwise, Chinese will be bullied by such sweatshops generation after generation," kookbaba, a Web user from Guiyang, Guizhou Province, said on 163.com, one of China' s leading news portals.

"I support the boycott because it can push enterprises to improve their managing systems to benefit workers and their sustainable development," Shen Binti, a lawyer in Beijing, told the Global Times.

Others, however, don't think a boycott make sense. "To be honest, working conditions on the Apple assembly line at the Foxconn plant are much better than some domestic plants," an anonymous Web user in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, said on 163.com.

Feng Yongfeng, founder of environmental protection NGO Green Beagle which is part of the coalition that has been investigating Apple subcontractors' heavy metal pollution, believes a boycott won't impact Apple products sales in China because they are so popular.

"Staff at Apple subcontractors couldn't enjoy the same benefits elsewhere. The main problem is that local government should strengthen its supervision of these subcontractors," he told the Global Times.