According to a recent article, Apple's clean image has recently taken a hit after The New York Times reported about the conditions in which some of the factories of its Chinese network have been found.
The employees building the iPad, iPhone and similar devices, labor in very harsh conditions. Reportedly the employees work extremely excessive overtime, they're often required to work everyday and many live in crowded dorms. Reports have been given that workers stand so long that their legs swell to a point where they can no longer stand.
One former Apple executive was quoted as to saying:
“We’ve known about labor abuses in some factories for four years, and they’re still going on, why? Because the system works for us. Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice.”
On the other hand many Chinese residents feel that Apple's presence in their country is positive. They feel that if it weren't for the company, the morale of the people would be much worse.
Recently a few Chinese residents were asked about the conditions of Apple's factories, here are a few of their translated comments.
"Apple is definitely a vampire factory. But if you boycott Apple, what would those workers eat without demand (for Apple products)? By then they would even lose their job!"
"If people saw what kind of life workers lived before they found a job at Foxconn, they would come to an opposite conclusion of this story: that Apple is such a philanthropist."
"Without Apple, Chinese workers will be worse off. I hope China can some day soon have dozens of its own companies like Apple, who (only) work on high-end research and development and send manufacturing lines to Africa."