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Breaking the Glass Screen – Framing monopoly capitalism in global commodity chains

Originally published: Monsoons Storms (January 6, 2021)


In 2007–a digital time not spatially long ago–a month before the iPhone was production scheduled, the late Steven Jobs took some of his staff to an office. He had been carrying a prototype of the device in his pocket daily for weeks.

Mr. Jobs angrily held up his iPhone so that everyone could see the dozens of tiny scratches marring its plastic screen. He then pulled his keys from his jeans.

People will carry this phone in their pocket, he was quoted to say.
“I won’t sell a product that gets scratched,” he said tensely.

The only solution was to use unscratchable glass instead.

I want a glass screen, and I want it perfect in six weeks.

(Duhigg, C and Bradsher, K. “How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work“, The New York Times, published January 21st., 2012).


An executive left that meeting and booked a flight to Shenzhen, China. If Mr. Jobs wanted a perfection, there was nowhere else to go.

Malik, Y, Niemeyer, A. and Ruwadi,B. “Building the supply chain of the future“, McKinsey Quarterly, January 2011; see also, Aminpour, S. and Woetzel, “Applying lean manufacturing in China” , The McKinsey Quarterly, 2006 Special Edition, pp. 106-115). To compare the underlying leadership philosophy in operations management, see Kim, M.(2012), “Samsung’s crisis culture: a driver and a drawback”, Sep. 2, 2012 (Reuters).

It was often argued that such material production like the glass panels could make in the USA, and then ship it by boat, but that would take 35 days. “Or, we could ship it by air, but that’s 10 times as expensive. So we build our glass factories next door to assembly factories, and those are overseas.” Wingfield, N and Duhigg, C. “Apple Lists Its Suppliers for 1st Time”, The New York Times, published January 13th, 2012).

The transnational corporation (TNC) is the product of concentration and centralization of capital that created monopoly capital where the accumulation of capital has always meant expansion.

Furthermore, this present process of growing and spreading is global in scale and, most importantly, economic imperialistic in its characteristics. It has an intensed transformative quality of organization and dominance of monopoly capital based on the rampage of peripheral countries’ natural resources. It has also the gained comparative advantages from global labor arbitrage, that is, the significant wage differentials between various countries and regions, in this global chain of business activities, (Suwandi and Foster, 2016, Global Commodity Chains and the New Imperialism).

Through these global commodity chains, monopoly-capital signals the determination and structuring of production worldwide on different commodities and subcomponent parts. With flexibility in a lean production, linked in global commodity chains, various and varied assembly plants are located in different geographical locations in the Global South. These are the sites where the reserve army of labor is larger, unit labor costs are lower, and rates of exploitation are correspondingly higher. The result is much higher profit margins for the transnational corporations leading to the amassing of wealth in the Global North centre, via a kind “profit by expropriation”.


The term global commodity chain referred to the material and logistical aspects of organizing production involving numerous components brought together over spatially dispersed global production platforms and or assembly sites.

With a global footprint, iPhone manufacturers stakes to a global supply chain. Apple contracts with major carriers including FedEx and UPS to ship iPhones around the world. One Boeing 747 flight can carry 150,000 iPhones.

For phones bound for the U.S., flights depart from Zhengzhou, China, and head to Anchorage, Alaska, where the jets are refuelled. Then, these flights are mostly routed to Louisville, Kentucky, where logistics personnel sort and reroute the iPhones to their final destinations.

Terence Hopkins and Immanuel Wallerstein advanced the commodity chain concept in the 1980s as part of the world-systems perspective–with an emphasis on the “historical reconstruction of industries during the long sixteenth century.” (Terence Hopkins and Immanuel Wallerstein, “Commodity Chains in the World Economy Prior to 1800,” Review 10, no. 1 (1986): 157–70). The global commodity-chain framework was further popularized in the mid–1990s, marked by the publication of Commodity Chains and Global Capitalism edited by Gary Gereffi and Miguel Korzeniewicz. Later, Gereffi also became a prominent figure in the forming of the global value-chain/global supply-chain research network in 2000.

Economic researchers at the Institut de Recherches Économiques et Sociales in France indicate that global commodity chains have three different elements: (1) a production element linking parts and commodities in complex production chains; (2) a value element, which focuses on their role as “value chains,” transferring value between and within firms globally; and (3) a monopoly element, reflecting the fact that such commodity chains are controlled by the centralized financial headquarters of monopolistic multinational corporations and garner massive monopoly rents, as theorized by Stephen Hymer in the 1970s, (Stephen Hymer, The Multinational Corporation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979).

The common distinction between global supply chains and global value chains is mainly between what Karl Marx called the material or “natural form” of the commodity, “use value” as opposed to its “value form,” or exchange value. All of this, however, needs to be united within a general theory of global commodity production, (Karl Marx, “The Value-Form,” Capital and Class 2, no. 1 (1978): 134).

According to one recent pioneering study of global financial flows by the Centre for Applied Economics of the Norwegian School of Economics and the United States-based Global Financial Integrity, net resource transfers from developing and emerging economies to rich countries were estimated at $2 trillion in 2012 alone, (Centre for Applied Research, Financial Flows and Tax Havens, Norwegian School of Economics and Global Financial Integrity, Bergen, Norway 2015).

The component manufacturers create the memory chips, glass screen interfaces, casings, cameras, and everything in between. A former executive had described how the Apple company depended upon a Chinese factory to revamp the iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due to be marketed. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute thereby enforcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant close to midnight.

A. The Labour

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

The question is not just about how the transnationals control the commodity chains, but also how they facilitate the extraction of surplus from the Global South. The underlying concept of the global labor arbitrage, famously defined by Stephen Roach, the former chief economist of Morgan Stanley, as the replacement of high-wage workers in the United States and other rich economies “with like-quality, low-wage workers abroad.” The global labor arbitrage is often rationalized as “an urgent survival tactic” for Global North companies to cut costs and to “search for new efficiencies”, (Stephen Roach, “How Global Labor Arbitrage Will Shape the World Economy”, Global Agenda Magazine, 2004).

In the context of the Marxian labour theory of value, the global labor arbitrage is quest for valorization. It is a strategy for both reducing socially necessary labor costs and maximizing the appropriation of surplus value. It extracts more out of workers through various means, including repressive work environments in periphery-economy factories, state-enforced bans on unionization or union-busting by the TNCs themselves, and quota systems or by means of unfair piece-rate work payments, (see Mhinder Bhopal, US Union Busting in Contemporary Malaysia: 1970-2000, University of North London; and STORM, Zero Hour Underemployment–Surplus Value Exploitation).

The global labor arbitrage is a factual existence because the industrial reserve army of the unemployed which on a global scale, this is the a global reserve army of labour. Central to the creation of this reserve army is the depeasantization of a large portion of the global periphery through the spread of agribusiness, like our FELDA schemes. The resettlement of rural communities had indebted the peasantry contributing a movement from the rural areas to the growth of urban poverty. Marx connected the “freeing” of peasants (the “latent” part of the reserve army) from the land to the process of “so-called primitive accumulation.” (Intan Suwandi, R. Jamil Jonna and John Bellamy Foster, Global Commodity Chains and the New Imperialism, Monthly Review, March 01 2019).

Reproducing the global reserve army of labor not only serves to increase shorter-term profits; it serves as a divide-and-rule approach to labour on a global scale in the interest of long-term accumulation by transnationals corporations and with the collaboration of state apparatus like GLCs aligned with them. The consequent competition among industrial workers in the Global South is greatly intensified by increasing the relative surplus population. This divide-and-rule strategy serves to integrate “disparate labour surpluses, ensuring a constant and growing supply of recruits to the global reserve army” who are “made less recalcitrant by insecure employment and the continual threat of unemployment.” (Intan Suwandi, Behind the Veil of Globalization, Monthly Review, July 01, 2015).

B. The Process

The focus on Asia “came down to two things,” said one former high-ranking Apple executive. Factories in Asia “can scale up and down faster” and “Asian supply chains have surpassed what’s in the U.S.”, (Bruce Constantine, Brian D. Ruwadi, and Joshua Wine article on “Management practices that drive supply chain success“, McKinsey Quarterly, February 2009).

The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.” (to compare this statement with Stefan Knupfer and Glenn Mercer article on Can U.S. auto suppliers stay ahead of Chinese rivals?, McKinsey Quarterly, September 2005).

When an Apple team eventually visited its new site, the Chinese plant’s owners were already constructing a new wing. “This is in case you give us the contract,” the manager said, according to a former Apple executive. The Chinese government had agreed to underwrite costs for numerous industries, and those subsidies had trickled down to the glass-cutting factory. It had a warehouse filled with glass samples available to Apple, free of charge. The owners made engineers available at almost no cost. They had built on-site dormitories so employees would be available 24 hours a day.

“The entire supply chain is in China now,” said another former high-ranking Apple executive.

You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.

The dynamic change in the electronic and electrical supply chain is also a reflection on innovative technologies that enable, and enhance, the digital production, and the enhancement of a digital economy. Look at the pre-iTune environment and the cutting off sub-contracting intermediaries in subsequent operational management:

Processes of traditional record making

Processes of traditional record making

The conventional mode in the production of a music record is transformed whereby the intermediary subcontracting from arranging an orchestra to the recording of a music to production of the vinyl record is controlled, and monopolized, by a dominant entity through a change in the operational mode of the new supply chain

Business model changes : multiplayers to 3 entities

Business model changes : multiplayers to 3 entities

Under this new way of doing business, monopoly capitalism has evolved, but the mode of capital accumulation persists; the exploitation of labour remains. In Marxian economics, the rate of exploitation is the ratio of the total amount of unpaid labor done (surplus-value) to the total amount of wages paid (the value of labour power). The rate of exploitation is known as the rate of surplus-value.

Workers under capitalism are compelled by their lack of ownership of the means of production to sell their labor power to capitalists for less than the full value of the goods they produce. Capitalists, in turn, need not produce anything themselves but are able to live instead off the productive energies of each and every worker effort.

C. The Capital

Foxconn, the world’s largest Apple subcontractor, once had more than 200,000 workers in one facility in Longhua, a factory district of Shenzhen in south China also known as “iPod City” (Webster, Nick. 2006, “Welcome to iPod City: The ‘Robot’ Workers on 15-hour Days”). In a few years, the Longhua factory grew to about a 400,000 population and the total number of Foxconn employees in China exceeded one million by 2012.

An eight-hour drive from that glass factory mentioned above, is a complex, known informally as Foxconn City, where the iPhone is assembled. To Apple executives, Foxconn City was further evidence that China could deliver hard-working workers–and diligence–that could and would outpace their American counterparts.

Nothing like Foxconn City, China, ever exists in the United States of America.

The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks; many workers earn less than US$17 a day. When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,” he was quoted to utter.

(It was reported that Foxconn employs nearly 300 guards to direct foot traffic so workers are not crushed in doorway bottlenecks. The facility’s central kitchen was stated to be to cook an average of three tons of pork and boiled 13 tons of rice daily).

Another critical advantage for Apple was that China provided engineers at a scale the United States could not match. In fact, Apple’s executives had estimated that about 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the 200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing iPhones. The company’s analysts had forecast it would take as long as nine months to find that many qualified engineers in the United States.

In China, it took 15 days.

Similarly. many companies moved their manufacturing from countries like China and Singapore to more affordable ones like Malaysia to localise their supply chain and procurement teams. Alongside this, many large global organizations are also moving towards centralizing their support for procurement and supply chain functions in Malaysia to consolidate business processes in search of lower labour cost. However, this has contributed to more companies exploring, and exploiting, flexible recruitment solutions like using zero-hour contracts or hiring contractors or temporary workers on a project basis.


Near to scenic Jiuzhaigou is Chengdu which, as a city in norhwest China, is a pulsating IT hub, with all the imperfect ramifications of capitalism expansiveness powering the largest, fastest and most sophisticated manufacturing system on earth, but with the excess of predatory capitalism at its worst. Within a seven-month period, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77, (refer to Duhigg and Barboza article on “Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad”, published in The New York Times, January 25th, 2012 where cleaning Pad screens with n-hexane, a toxic chemical that can cause nerve damage and paralysis; other negative reports include the Taiyun assembly plant rioting (Reuter, Sep 2012,, Oct 6th. 2012).

That system has made it possible for Apple, and hundreds of other transnational companies, to build devices almost as quickly as they can be dreamed up, but at the price of destruction of labour welfare and degradation of ecological environment.

On one aspect, it was stated that Foxconn has a notorious “military-style” management system, which abused workers and caused at least 17 workers attempting suicide in the first eight months of 2010, an unprecedented tragedy in the history of electronics (Chan and Pun 2010); also Pun, Ngai, Huilin Lu, Yuhua Guo and Yuan Shen, edits., Suicides behind the Glory of Foxconn, Commercial Press, Hong Kong, 2011, (in Chinese).

For instance, during the worker uprising at Foxconn’s Taiyuan plant in September 2012, police and guards reportedly targeted workers who tried to record the event with their mobile phones (Mozur 2012b), showing that the short circuits move in both directions and Foxconn was significantly concerned about the consequences of these circulating video “rumours”.

In May 2014, one of Apple’s most important suppliers, NXP Semiconductors, dismissed all 24 elected union officials from IndustriALL affiliate MWAP at its plant in a special economic zone in Cabuyao, Philippines. NXP claimed the union’s peaceful industrial actions were illegal. It was clear that the company’s persistent acts of intimidation and harassment were aimed at weakening the bargaining power of the union.

Similar incidents of union busting by AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), Motorola and Harris Semiconductor are well documented in Malaysia, too, with Henry Kissinger (then an inward investment advisor to the Indonesian Government) and Jack Welsh of GE and the AFL-CIO meddling the industrial actions by Malaysian labour. The stronghold by TNC monopoly capital is such that by 1995 manufacturing goods accounted for 76.7% of all Malaysia’s exports. Just two sectors accounted for 70.2% of manufactured exports with electrical and electronic goods and electrical machinery, appliances and parts accounting for 50.3%, 16.9% respectively (Source: Department of Statistics 1996). Such is the significance of semiconductors and the component electronics sector in general, and the U.S. investments in particular, that 14 U.S. electronics firms accounted for 21.1% of manufactured exports and employed 31.5% of the estimated 130,000 electronics employees in 1990 (Malaysian-American Electronics Industries, 1993). In 1996, eighteen U.S. electronics companies accounted for almost ten per cent of Malaysia’s gross manufactured exports and employed 65,000 people (Malaysian American Electronics Industry, 1998).

According to local labour activists, Foxconn was once responsible for about half of all finger-related work injuries in key hospitals of Shenzhen’s factory zones in Longhua and Guanlan. To contextualize this datum, in Shenzhen and the surrounding Pearl River Delta of south China, factory workers lose or break about 40,000 fingers on the job each year.(nytimes. “In Many Chinese Factories, Loss of Fingers and Low Pay“.)

Foxconn resolved many of the injury or suicide cases through extra-legal means, including several cases that was followed closely (Pun 2011; Qiu 2012). Since 2010, it has also used large number of “student interns”, including child labour, to generate more profit by evading China’s labor contract law, thus offering yet another illustration for the informalization process: formal circuits cannot be sustained for long without tapping into informal circuits, (Ngai Pun and Jenny Chan, “Global Capital, the State, and Chinese Workers: The Foxconn Experience“, Modern China, 38, number 4, 2013, pp. 383-410).


Other notable aspects of the iPhone monopoly capital saga are related here. It is uniquely American. The device’s software, for instance, and its innovative marketing campaigns were largely created in the United States. Apple recently built a $500 million data center in North Carolina. Crucial semiconductors inside the iPhone 4 and 4S are manufactured in an Austin, Texas, factory by Samsung, of South Korea.

Companies like Apple are not the real manufacturers, but merely merchandisers, and through image-product branding they are able to absorb a huge share of the surplus value created by subcontractors and component manufacturers.

It is not the ordinary workers in the Global South, but the Gobal North executives and corporate capital who are benefiting from the structural power of the global commodity supply chains. While Apple’s iPod is made entirely overseas, but ‘52 percent of the final sale price is counted as value added in the United States and is added to U.S. GDP’ (Intan Suwandi, Value Chains: The New Economic Imperialism, p.158). The surplus value, the source of profit, entirely comes from in the production process, and therefore originates completely outside the USA. However, the finance and administrative procedures take place in the core centre of Global North. In a capitalist society, under a capitalistic accounting method, the ‘surplus-value’ is regarded as ‘value added’, while in Marxist terms, these activities add no value at all (Suwandi, ibid., p.160). With all this value accruing in the imperial centre, it is the middle-class professionals ‘including the outsized “compensation” and bonuses, commissions of corporate executives–[who capture] more than two-thirds of the total wage bill associated with iPod production’ (Suwandi, op.cit., p.158):

where China’s labour cost is only 1.6% of product sales price

Where China’s labour cost is only 1.6% of product sales price

Similarly, in the international garment industry, in which production takes place almost exclusively in the Global South, direct labor cost per garment is typically around 1–3 percent of the final retail price, according to senior World Bank economist Zahid Hussain. Wage costs for an embroidered logo sweatshirt produced in the Dominican Republic run at around 1.3 percent of the final retail price in the United States, while the labor cost (including the wages of floor supervisors) of a knit shirt produced in the Philippines is 1.6 percent. Labor costs in countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bangladesh were even considerably lower than in the above cases. The surplus value captured from such workers is thus enormous, while being disguised by the fact that the lion’s share of so-called “value added” is attributed to activities (marketing, distribution, corporate salaries) in the wealthy importing country, removed from direct production costs.

In 2010, the Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz was purchasing T-shirts from subcontractors in Bangladesh, paying the workers on the order of 2–5 cents (euro) per shirt produced; (see also comparative Spice Girl’s T-shirt production cost:

Nike, a pioneer in Non-Equity Modes of International Production, outsources all of its production to subcontractors in countries such as South Korea, China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. In 1996, a single Nike shoe consisting of fifty-two components was manufactured by subcontractors in five different countries. The entire direct labor cost for the production of a pair of Nike basketball shoes retailing for $149.50 in the United States in the late 1990s was 1 percent, or $1.50.

Wages might not be the only reason for the disparities, but other costs like inventory and how long it takes workers to finish a job-task. Whereas General Motors had to go half a decade between major automobile redesigns, by comparison, Apple has released five iPhones in four years, maybe doubling the devices’ speed and memory yet the price has remained high for the money any consumer has to pay for a product assembled by precarious labour under exploitative workplace environment.


And in the monopoly capitalism relentless pursuit towards product perfection (acquiring rare earth resources), shrinking the supply chain (through global commodity value chain), and ultimately the standardization of components (in different outsourced manufacturing sites), Apple is scouring new technological advancement like requesting Japanese liquid-crystal-display makers like Sharp Corporation and Japan Display Inc. as well as South Korea’s LG’s Display Co. in mass producing panels for the next iPhone using so-called in-cell technology, the people said.

This new technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer. The absence of the layer, usually about half-a-millimeter thick, not only makes the whole screen thinner, but improves the quality of displayed images, said DisplaySearch analyst Hiroshi Hayase. (Jessica E. Vascellaro, Wall Street Journal, 2012).

By June 2012, Foxconn had expressed an interest, and planning, to build a factory in Indonesia. The Jakarta Globe, (June 28th. 2012), was reported to state that Indonesia Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat spoke about Foxconn’s intentions to enter Indonesia, “bringing along technology, and [needing] some 1 million workers ……. and if they do so, I will give them incentives of tax holiday, tax allowance and other facilities,” he said”. The investment is estimated to be worth more than US$1 billion, the minister added. With an expression into perspective is that Apple’s iPhones and iPads now commands for nearly three-quarter of its revenue-generation, (The Star, 21st. January 2013). However, that plant in Indonesia remains in a limbo due to political snags.

Now, the iPhones are rolling off an assembly line near Sao Paulo, Brazil; the other Apple manufacturing plants, outside China, include the Czech Republic, Malaysia, Thailand, and South Korea among others. Foxconn ramped up the Sao Paulo assembly of iPhones and iPads during late 2012 , with an initial investment of 1 billion reais (US$325 million) to anchor an industrial park producing components locally. The Itu site, situated in the sleepy tourist town in Sao Paulo stated–nicknamed “The City of Exaggeration”–remains an empty expanse of dirt where bulldozers have been leveling the land since late last year. The City Council that had donated the 100-acre of land to Foxconn, has since turned against the project. “People are really frustrated, “ said Givanildo Soares da Silva the City councilor.

We were expecting all these jobs by now and it is still just empty promises.

Foxconn had prepared a statement indicating the facility should be operational by the end of this year, (Reuters, 13th. April 2015), bringing its Brazilian workforce to more than 10,000.

Apple’s official list of its top 200 suppliers, accounting for 97 per cent of materials and manufacturing costs, includes just two companies in Brazil: Foxconn and fellow Taiwanese electronics company Lite-On Technology Corp.

Foxconn currently have five facilities in the country that make products under contract for various technology companies, including just one unit producing Apple devices in Jundiai, about 30 miles east of Itu.

A worker testing iPhones earn about US$80 per week, just US$15 above the minimum wage, and a fourth strike in as many years was brewing again.

However, Terry Guo, the founder and chairman of Foxconn, had discussed Brazilian labor rather witheringly, “…. as soon as they hear ‘soccer’, they stop working. And there’s all the dancing. It’s crazy,” he had once told the Wall Street Journal in 2010.

The steep cost of consumer goods in Brazil, along with high tariffs and interest rates, has contributed to the low productivity, too. The iPhones rolling off the assembly line in Sao Paulo carry a retail price tag of nearly US$1000 for a 32-gigabyte iPhone 5S without a contract–among the highest prices in the world and about twice what they sell in the U.S.


Terry Guo, Foxconn owner and CEO once publicly stated, “as human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache”. Calling workers “animals” is a candid reflection that the factory only values the bodily input of its labor force, not other aspects of its humanity, (Markoff, John. 2012. “Skilled Work, Without the workers“, New York Times).

What such a transnational corporation does is not unlike an estate manager did in a settlement plantation during colonial administration in then Malaya.

Racist humiliation, insult, and inflicted cruelty were part of the everyday lives of the “coolies” (a deratorating term thrown at the local inhabitants), while the pale-skin estate owner sipped “stengahs” (whisky and sodas), clad in sweatstained khakis, summoning a “boy” to bring a teapot or gin bottle to the veranda at the end of another hot and humid day with the topee on his head.


Chan, Pun and Selden, “The Politics of Global Production: Apple, Foxconn and China’s new working class”, New Technology, Work and Employment, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp. 100-115, July 2013.
Christian Fuchs, “Digital Labor and Imperialism”, Monthly Review, Volume:67, Issue 08, January 2016.”

Foster and McChesney, “The Endless Crisis“, Monthly Review, Volume 64, issue 01, May 1, 2012.

Torkil Lauesen and Zak Cope, “Imperialism and the Transformation of Values into Prices”, Monthly Review, July 1st. 2015.

Marisol Sandoval, “Foxconned: labor as the Dark Side of the Information Age”, tripleC, 11, number 2 (2013); 318-47.

Jack L. Qiu, “Goodbye iSlave: Rethinking Labor, Capitalism, and Digital Media”, University of Illinois Press, 2016).

Jenny Chan, “A Suicide Survivor: The Life of a Chinese Worker,” New Technology, Work and Employmen, no. 2 (2013): 84–99.

Chan, Pun, and Selden, “The Politics of Global Production”; Foster and McChesney, The Endless Crisis, 119–20, 139–40, 173.

Ngai Pun and Jenny Chan, “Global Capital, the State, and Chinese Workers: The Foxconn Experience,” Modern China, 38, no. 4 (2012): 383–410; Jack L. Qiu, “Network Labor: Beyond the Shadow of Foxconn,” in Larissa Hjorth, Jean Burgess and Ingrid Richardson, eds., Studying Mobile Media: Cultural Technologies, Mobile Communication, and the iPhone, (New York: Routledge, 2012), 173–89; Jack L. Qiu, Goodbye iSlave: Rethinking Labor, Capitalism, and Digital Media, Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2016).

Thousands of Foxconn Workers Strike Again in Chongqing for Better Wages, Benefits, China Labor Watch, October 8, 2014,

China Labor Bulletin Strike Map, available at

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