Business

Samsung re-uses 'child labour' firm but cuts business by 30%

Debt collectors outside Dongguan Shinyang Electronics factory Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Debt collectors gathered outside the factory in July claiming to be owed 6m yuan by the factory boss.

Samsung will do 30% less business with a Chinese supplier after evidence of child labour was found at its factory.

The supplier, Dongguan Shinyang Electronics, employed child workers through a subcontractor, an investigation found.

Samsung suspended business with the supplier in July after allegations that at least five children had been used.

It has now resumed business with the firm after the child workers were found to have used forged identification.

But Samsung said it was still penalising the firm for not monitoring its contractors carefully enough.

"Samsung has decided to still take measures against Dongguan Shinyang to hold the supplier responsible for failing to monitor its subcontractors, in accordance with Samsung's zero tolerance policy on child labour," the Galaxy smartphone-maker said.

In July, the firm suspended business with Dongguan Shinyang after allegations made by labour rights organisation China Labor Watch.

Production at the factory shut down, and in July debt collectors gathered outside the factory claiming to be owed six million yuan (£560,000; $950,000) by the factory's boss.

Samsung said at the time that it would permanently halt business with the phone cover and parts supplier should evidence of child workers be found.

However, an investigation found that a third-party firm had brought in underage labourers with forged identification shortly after a Samsung audit, a Shinyang engineering official said.

"We will ensure that similar incidents do not recur," he said.

The use of workers under the age of 16 is prohibited by Chinese law.

Nevertheless, a number of suppliers to technology giants have been found using underage workers.

Foxconn, which supplies parts for Apple devices including smartphones, said in 2012 that it had used child labour.

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