Monday, September 03, 2012, 12:58 pm PT (03:58 pm ET)
Samsung says it will review 250 suppliers for labor violationsSamsung has said it will investigate 250 Chinese manufacturing partners after a third-party audit found the use of child labor.
The U.S.-based operation China Labor Watch found seven children younger than 16 wroking in a factory that makes DVD players for Samsung. The company responded on Monday and said it will inspect 250 Chinese companies that make its products, but its own investigation found no under-aged workers at the HEG Electronics facility in question, according to Reuters.
Samsung's audit did, however, find inadequate management and potentially unsafe practices, including improper safety measures and overtime beyond what local regulations allow.
In a statement, Samsung said it has "demanded that HEG immediately improve its working conditions." If the partner fails to meet Samsung's "zero-tolerance policy on child labor, the contract will be immediately severed."
Attention has not traditionally been paid to Samsung's overseas manufacturing partners. However, Apple, which is now the largest company in the world by market capitalization, has routinely come under fire for its reliance on overseas assembly, particularly at manufacturer Foxconn.
For years, Apple has conducted its own supplier audits and put out an annual report detailing their findings. But earlier this year, facing growing criticism, Apple also allowed a third-party organization, the Fair Labor Association, to conduct its own audits. Apple is the first technology company to partner with the FLA.
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