Apple’s Chinese Factories: Did the BBC Pass Off China Labor Watch’s Reporting as Their Own?

The BBC broadcast a scathing documentary about working conditions in Chinese factories last night, in a documentary on its Panorama program called Apple’s Broken Promises. In researching this story for an article that will be published on Macworld later today, I noted that China Labor Watch, an advocacy group fighting for better working conditions in China, published a report, Apple’s Unkept Promises: Investigation of Three Pegatron Group Factories Supplying to Apple.

This report discusses exactly what the BBC documentary did, and discuses the same problems that the BBC documentary highlighted. I’m curious as to whether the hidden-camera footage in the BBC documentary comes from that report, or if the BBC did, as the journalist claims, send three reporters into Megatron factories. The BBC gives no credit to this group (though it does interview one of its spokesmen), and the report dates from July 2013; if the footage the BBC showed last night is more than 18 months old, it would be useful to know if things have changed since then.

While you’re waiting to read my Macworld article, read this article on Macworld UK, by Karen Haslam, who discusses many of the same points I make.