Hundreds of students would spend long days and nights in China working on devices with voice assistant Alexa. The Guardian writes this on the basis of leaked documents and conversations with employees of Amazon supplier Foxconn.
The young people would be deployed by Foxconn as part of "a controversial and illegal attempt to meet production targets".
The British newspaper writes that children often have to work at night and work a lot of overtime to produce smart speakers. That is contrary to the Chinese labor laws. In China, students from the age of 16 may work in factories, but they may not work overtime or be deployed overnight.
The documents show that Foxconn often approaches teenagers at (technical) schools with an internship offer. Teenagers' teachers would be paid to assist them and to encourage the teenagers for longer working hours.
Foxconn promises adjustments
Foxconn has admitted illegal practices against The Guardian and says he will take immediate action. "We have doubled the supervision of the internship program. That way we can be sure that under no circumstances do interns work overtime or are deployed overnight."
An Amazon spokesperson said suppliers would not tolerate violations of rules. "If that happens, we will take appropriate measures." Amazon has launched an investigation into Foxconn.
More than a thousand young people would work at Foxconn between the ages of 16 and 18. Among other things, they work on the production of the Amazon Echo speaker and Kindles.