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Take me down to the iPod City
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
- A Rose
Welcome to iPod City. You're in China now. An area called Longhua. The Mail on Sunday were there and took some pictures for you. [Don't worry - they're not online yet. Or anymore. Ed.]
iPod City is of course home of the lifestyle choice known as the iPod. The manufacturing plant houses 200,000 workers, mostly female. Any one of them would die to be able to own an iPod. But there's little hope they'll ever be able to afford one. They get paid about $45 per month. And not for doing nothing either: they work 15 hour shifts.
So if you can't afford to buy one - how about stealing one? Good luck: the five storey factory is secured by police officers.
So every night it's shuffle back to the dorms (which each house 100 workers).
And for fun? Forget it: no visitors allowed.
Speaking of 'shuffle', there's an iPod Shuffle city too. It's near Shanghai in an area known as Suzhou. The people working there are rich by comparison. They make a walloping $90 per month. But on the other hand they don't get free room and board. For that they have to pay out of their generous salaries.
And they're all women too. And there's a reason for this: the female workers are considered more honest. No sense losing revenue to Chinese who are desperate to get on the lifestyle bandwagon.
Apple aren't the only company outsourcing to China. The secret's out and everyone wants to make things there. Sweat shop wages and hours and a high level of secrecy ensured by China's liberal government. It's the perfect place to make accessories for the people of the free world.