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Another Bite at a Bad (CSR) Apple

Oh dear…it is not the first [1]time Apple has been bruised by accusations of poor controls over its China contractors, and it seems unlikely it will be the last.

• RT @fonstuinstra: China: Apple admits using child labour to build iPods and iPhones in Chinese factories | Mail Online http://ow.ly/1bZDi [2]11:43 PM Feb 27th

CSR has become a big issue in China, not least as it touches on political issues such as the “harmonious society”, the environment, increasing unionization, labour law, and anti-corruption campaigns. Of course big foreign investors, like the proverbial tall tree, attract the wind (or, in this case, media storm).

While Apple battles its demons, other firms are taking note, and promoting their own CSR plans. Among them is Wal-Mart (China’s 7th largest trading partner [3]– if it was a nation!). But a policy alone is not enough, especially for a high-profile company. Some have questioned teh firm’s sincerity:

• CSR: Another bad Apple? RT @niubi: How Sincere is Wal-Mart’s Demand that Chinese Suppliers Meet Labor & Enviro Standards? http://bit.ly/a6Qe4Z [4]8:13 AM Feb 28th

Whatever the truth, it is clear that CSR is an issue in China [5], and that foreign firms are likely to attract attention. So, whether for pure – or purely practical reasons – it seems CSR will increasingly be on the agenda, along with the associated due diligence, factory audits, inspections, environmental impact analysis, and community engagement…

Need more information? Check out our list of China CSR Twitterers [6]here, or come and talk to us.