Tech Companies That Depend On Chinese Labor, Like Apple, Samsung And HTC, Scrambling To Donate To Quake Relief

  @angeloyoung_a.young@ibtimes.com on April 22 2013 7:57 AM
April 2013 China Earthquake
Jason Lee / Reuters Song Zhengqiong holds her daughter as she cries in front of her damaged house after a strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake at Longmen village, Lushan county in Ya'an, Sichuan province on April 21. Reuters

Tech companies that rely on Chinese labor to manufacture their products are scrambling to make sure they win some corporate philanthropy cred in the wake of Saturday’s earthquake in southwestern China that killed at least 186 and wounded more than 11,000 people.

So far the most generous giver has been South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (KRX:005935), which announced Monday morning on China’s micro-blogging site Sina Weibo that it was donating 60 million yuan ($9.7 million) to help relief efforts in Ya’an prefecture, central Sichuan province, where most of the quake damage and casualties occurred.

In November, Samsung admitted that some of its 105 suppliers employing about 65,000 workers were engaged in illegal labor practices, including forcing workers to toil in 16-hour shifts and charging financial penalties to employees for being late or absent from work, as reported by The Economic Times.

Shortly after Samsung’s announcement, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) chimed in with its own pledge of 50 million yuan ($8 million), computer equipment and computer training for some of the schools in the disaster zone, according to the South China Morning Post.

Apple has had its share of bad publicity, not just with similar labor issues faced by Samsung but also for an inadequate warranty policy for its products sold in China. Earlier this month Apple’s CEO Timothy Cook apologized to Chinese consumers and promised to make the warranty of Apple products in China the same as they are in other countries, as reported in The New York Times.

Here are other tech companies and what they pledged:

Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC Corp. (TPE:2498): 5 million yuan ($808,825).

Mobile device manufacturer Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) of Finland: 1 million yuan.

Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT): 1 million yuan.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi: 1 million yuan.

Chinese electronics manufacturer Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992): 4,000 mobile phones and SIM cards.

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