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I think everyone got my April Fool’s joke for what it was meant to be, a joke. Traditionally you’re supposed to pull the plug on these things at lunchtime on April 1st but with a global audience it’s hard to know when lunchtime will be – though if you’re buying I’m happy to make it any time.

I sincerely hope that my story about "Fu Ling" wasn't "fooling" anyone. :-) I know it wasn't the subtlest of humor, but it was my first attempt at this kind of story - so I hope you'll forgive me anyway.

I wrote this post several days ago, when I noticed that April 1st was coming up – and that’s because I’m rubbish at remembering dates and I’d have been gutted if I’d have missed this one.

However in the interim the butt of my humor (that’s Foxconn and Apple if you hadn’t guessed) found themselves making headlines again. The US Fair Labor Association investigated working practices in China and found them to be unsatisfactory, and Apple have promised to sort this out.

They don’t sound terribly sincere as they’ve asked for nearly 18 months to fix the problem of too much overtime (Foxconn’s workers are supposed to work for no more than 49 hours a week). You have to wonder how this could possibly take so long, given that there are millions of unemployed in this country who could be hired to reduce the lack of human capacity tomorrow morning.

I’m going to say it again, as I did last time when I talked about this story though – Foxconn is amongst the best employers in China and while these conditions may look scandalous through Western eyes, they’re really good by local standards. You might want to keep that in mind next time you buy a mobile phone or a computer of any kind – as they’re pretty much all made here in China.

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