American Public Media's "Marketplace" Shanghai Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz got an inside look at Foxconn, the Chinese company that manufactures the iPad for Apple. In this exclusive report, Rob takes a look at how the iPad is born:
The first misconception I had about Foxconn’s Longhua facility in the city of Shenzhen was that I’ve always called it a ‘factory’ -- technically, it is. But after you enter the gates and walk around, you quickly realize that it’s also a city -- 240,000 people work here. Nearly 50,000 of them live on campus in shared dorm rooms.
There’s a main drag lined on both sides with fast-food restaurants, banks, cafes, grocery stores, a wedding photo shop, and an automated library. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, a gym, two enormous swimming pools, and a bright green astroturf soccer stadium smack-dab in the middle of campus. There’s a radio station -- Voice of Foxconn -- and a television news station. Longhua even has its own fire department, located right on main street. This is not what comes to mind when you think “Chinese factory.”