Shifts at a Foxconn factory are typically eight to ten hours a day. Since about half of the company's Shenzhen employees live on campus, an entire city has sprung up around them. They train. They eat. They play.
I traveled to China to report on Foxconn and Shenzhen as part of a special feature for WIRED, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the magazine. In the meantime, here's a small glimpse of some of the things I saw while in Shenzhen.
On this particular day in late October, hundreds of new employees paraded around a large field in team-building exercises-primarily, as far as I could tell, marching in formation, something very familiar to anyone who went to elementary school in China.
A man knits a floofy scarf while standing apart from the crowd. When I stopped to compliment him on his project and took a picture, his coworkers yelled and clapped in approval.
An on-campus university provides degrees that are recognized outside of Foxconn. Employees can pay for the schooling themselves or earn scholarships based on their performance.
Employees eat at a food court, a step-up from the standard canteen through which thousands are fed each day. This food court provides fast food options that are run by outside restaurants. Food vendors provide different styles of food that reflect the cuisine of many different areas of China—food from home for workers, many of whom have traveled thousands of miles to work in Shenzhen.
Mall-like shops line the main thoroughfares of the campus, including this fruit market.
At the Efeihu.com shop, Foxconn employees can buy discounted products for themselves or their families.
At the "Cyberfox Café", workers can watch videos, play games, and surf the internet. There are separate, optional areas for women who want to use computers in a more quiet area, a well as "couple's seating" for those who want to, say, watch a movie together.
An Xbox gaming area was not as well attended.
Technicians film a spot for an upcoming electronics show. Employing dozens, the Multimedia Office of Foxconn produces commercials, training videos, and other corporate messaging for the Shenzhen campus as well as other campuses around the world.
This special report is a partnership between Gizmodo and WIRED Magazine.
Camera and lens rental from BorrowLenses.com.
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