Last update:
2019-02-19

Foxconn's pollutional activities in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China

Residents of the Hengda Oasis community in Taiyuan, Shanxi are exposed to toxic gases emitted by the Foxconn factory, a manufacturer for global brands such as Apple. Their protest against the factory in 2011 included roadblocks.


Description:

Foxconn is the largest electronics manufacturer worldwide. Contracted by the most significant global brands, such as Apple, Intel, Amazon and Sony to name but a few, the company is estimated to manufacture around 40% of all consumer electronics worldwide [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Foxconn's pollutional activities in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China
Country:China
State or province:Shanxi
Location of conflict:Taiyuan
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Manufacturing activities
Specific commodities:electronics
Manufactured Products
E-waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The completion of the Foxconn factury in Taiyuan cost 4,4bn CNY, and gives work to more than 65,000 people [2].

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Project area:305
Level of Investment:ca. 656,638,000.00
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:2,000
Start of the conflict:01/09/2009
Company names or state enterprises:Foxconn Technology Group 富士康科技集团 from Taiwan
Relevant government actors:Environmental Protection Bureau of Shanxi Province
Environmental Protection Bureau of Taiyuan City
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (公众环境研究中心, wwwen.ipe.org.cn)
-Friends of Nature (自然之友, www.fon.org.cn)
-Green Beagle Environmental Institute (达尔问环境研究所,www.bjep.org.cn)
-Green Stone Environmental Action Network (绿石环境保护中心,www.green-stone.org)
-Huanyou Science and Technology Research Center(环友科技,http://www.huanyoukeji.com/)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Industrial workers
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Soil contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Other Health impacts
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents
Other Health impactsWorkers committed suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Violent targeting of activists
Fostering a culture of peace
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Workers report that the brawl was sparked by the violent treatment of security guards towards workers
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Residents are still complaining about pollution caused by the factory. According to local physicians, a large number of residents are suffering from environmental health issues that remain unaddressed. [5]
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[3] "The other side of Apple II" Research report by Chinese environmental organizations digging Apple’s China supply chain, listing additional suppliers in violation of Chinese environmental standards. (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

[5] "China And The Environment: The Green Revolution", Sam Geall (Ed); Zed Books, 2013
[click to view]

First report from 2010: "The Other Side of Apple" (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

A 2010 Study by ENGOs about the Heavy Metal Pollution by the IT Brand Supply Chain (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] New York Times: "How the US lost out on iPhone Work" (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

[6] Article on chinadialogue.net: "Living with Foxonn" (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

[4] Article on chinadialogue.net: "Apple: back under the spotlight" (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

[2] New York Times: "After Suicides, Scrutiny of China’s Grim Factories" (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

[7]bbc.com: "Foxconn halts production at plant after mass brawl"(accessed on 13.02.2019)
[click to view]

[8] yifeng.com: "富士康再陷苹果污染门 遭居民多次投诉空气污染" (Foxconn relapses in Apples pollution gate, following residents repeated complaints about air pollution)

(accessed on 13.02.2019)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

The Other Side of Apple II: Pollution Spreads through China's Water Supply Chain
[click to view]

[7] Presentation about the case, published by Xueli Zhang for the Wilson Center.
[click to view]

[9] Taiwan TV-Station: "富士康太原廠千名員工暴動 公安武警千人鎮壓" (Foxconn Taiyuan factory thousand employees riots Public security armed police thousands of people suppressed) (accessed: 13.02.2019)
[click to view]

[10] Online forum discussion on Tianya about the pollution of Foxconn in Taiyuan, including pictures made by residents
[click to view]

Other documents

Position of the Hengda Oasis community in proximity to the Foxconn factory Source: http://wwwen.ipe.org.cn/reports/report_1746.html
[click to view]

Picture of the Foxconn factory emitting gases, taken by a resident of the neighbouring community Source: http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-269-13182-1.shtml
[click to view]

A protest T-shirt urging local residents to fight Foxconn's pollution. Picture by Meng Si. Source: https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/4921-Living-with-Foxconn
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice, ICTA-UAB/LUX 2019
Last update19/02/2019
Comments
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