Report: Foxconn using unpaid student interns to build PS4

Workers at Foxconn
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

October 10th 2013 at 9:13AM

Agreement with local school forces students into internships or risk losing credits

Unpaid interns are being forced to help build the PlayStation 4 at Foxconn plants, claim reports in the Chinese media.

Games in Asia cites The Oriental Post for the news, which comes after previous revelations about poor working conditions and a rash of suicides at the company best known for producing iPhones.

The report claims that students at the Xi'an Institute of Information Engineering are required to take unpaid internships at Foxconn's Yantai plant or lose six course credits – effectively blocking them from graduation.

The program is part of an agreement between the institute and the tech manufacturer which the school publicly recognizes and promotes, but students claim they're being forced into jobs that have no relation to their field of study.

The report claims one finance and accounting major was set to work glueing the parts of the PS4 together, while another wound up spending his days peeling off protective plastic and placing stickers.

One computer science major was tasked with putting the console's cords and instruction manual in the box.

These students said that their hours were the same as those of the regular workers, the difference being they go unpaid.

Foxconn says that all its workers are voluntary and it has no interest in keeping them from leaving if they so choose.

The Xi'an Institure of Technology was asked if it received an agent's fee for providing the workers, but declined to comment, stating only that the program was legal.

Sony has not yet issued a statement about the allegations.

This isn't the only time a console manufacturer has been caught up in a Foxconn scandal. The company was found to be employing teenagers to build the Wii U, a practice which Ninetendo was able to stop when it investigated.