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Friday
Oct112013

Foxconn Interns Forced to Package PlayStation 4 Consoles to Graduate?

Sony/Playstation(NEW YORK) -- Foxconn, the Taiwanese-based manufacturer that Apple partnered with to make both iPads and iPhones and was flagged for unsafe working conditions, is embroiled in another scandal.

Interns working at the company's Yantai factory in China have been forced to work long hours packaging PlayStation 4 consoles in order to get their degree, according to an article in the Chinese-language Dong Fang Daily.

In addition to 11-hour work days, students have complained that the internship at Foxconn consists of menial labor irrelevant to their studies, according to the article, which noted that a computer science student's work consisted of packing the PS4's cables and instruction booklets into the box, while a finance student applied warranty stickers to the PS4s.

Wang Yi Ran, one of the interns who spoke with the Dong Fang Daily, said that she and other classmates had thought about quitting the internship. However, the school's response was that if they quit before the internship deadline of Oct. 10, they would not get college credit and therefore be unable to graduate, she said.

Sony told ABC News Friday that they are taking the Foxconn allegations seriously. "Sony expects its suppliers, including Foxconn, to fully comprehend and comply with our Supplier Code of Conduct," said the company in a statement. "We are in communication with Foxconn and are investigating the matter."

In a statement sent to Quartz, a business news website, Foxconn acknowledged that students in the factory had been assigned both night shifts and overtime hours, which it said violated company policy.

"Immediate actions have been taken to bring that campus into full compliance with our code and policies" the company said in the statement. However, Foxconn also said that they "remind[ed] all interns of their rights to terminate their participation in the program at any time."

China has been dealing with a labor crunch lately and Foxconn founder Terry Gou told the Financial Times that the company was having difficulty finding enough workers to fill his factories.

"The young generation don't want to work in factories, they want to work in services or the internet or another more easy and relaxed job," he said in the article published Oct. 7.

Foxconn did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio