Samsung Electronics said it has suspended business ties with a Chinese supplier while allegations that it hired child labour are investigated.
The South Korean company, which is the world’s biggest smartphone maker, said in a blog that it had uncovered possible evidence of child labour and illegal hiring at Dongguan Shinyang Electronics.
Samsung said last week it would urgently investigate working conditions at Shinyang, in response to a New York-based watchdog’s report that the supplier hired at least five children under the age of 16.
China Labor Watch said children, as well as minors under 18, worked at Shinyang for three to six months to meet production targets during a period of high demand. The watchdog said the child workers were paid for 10 hours a day but worked 11 hours.
The report detailed 15 labour violations discovered during its undercover investigation. These included child labour, the absence of safety training, and no provision of overtime wages or social insurance for temporary workers, who constituted at least 40% of the 1,200 employees at the parts supplier.
The watchdog’s report came shortly after Samsung said its audit of hundreds of Chinese suppliers had found no evidence of child labour. Samsung began inspecting its Chinese suppliers in 2012 after China Labor Watch raised the issue.
Samsung said Chinese authorities are investigating the case and if the allegations are proved, the company will permanently stop doing business with Shinyang.
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