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Samsung chops order to China supplier that used child labor

In a move to condemn illegal child labor, the Korean electronics giant says it will reduce orders with the supplier by 30 percent.


Samsung will significantly reduce orders to one of its mobile parts suppliers after uncovering the use of child labor at a Chinese facility.

Samsung will cut its orders to China-based Dongguan Shinyang Electronics by 30 percent, the company told Reuters on Tuesday. The electronics giant said Chinese authorities found that a subcontractor for Dongguan Shinyang had hired minors to work at the supplier's plant, according to Reuters.

CNET has contacted Samsung for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.

In July, Samsung suspended its business with Dongguan Shinyang, which makes mobile phone covers and parts, while it investigated charges of child labor violations and labor abuses. The investigation was prompted by a report from US activist group China Labor Watch that detailed children working on assembly lines for Dongguan Shinyang without contracts. The report alleged that several of Dongguan Shinyang's seasonal workers were minors who work 11 hours a day, 7 days a week, without overtime pay.

Samsung reaffirmed its "zero tolerance policy on child labor" in a statement to Reuters on Tuesday, saying it is taking measures against Dongguan Shinyang to "hold the supplier responsible for failing to monitor its subcontractors." Samsung's move to cut orders with Dongguan Shinyang comes as it faces increasing global pressure to ensure that suppliers adhere to child labor laws.

Samsung said it has conducted three separate audits of the Shinyang facility since 2013, the last one ending June 25, but never found evidence of child labor. However, an official at Dongguan Shinyang parent company Shinyang Engineering told Reuters that a third-party firm supplying workers to the plant brought in the minors after Samsung's audit. All of the children have since been removed from the plant, the Shinyang official told Reuters.

Despite the reduction in orders, Samsung will continue to work with Dongguan Shinyang. It's not clear which firm will pick up the slack on the orders.