The Xi’an Institute of Technology engineering students must participate in the internship program to receive six course credits required to graduate, according to Hong Kong's Oriental Daily.
Foxconn says the internships provide students “with the opportunity to gain practical work experience and on-the-job training that will support their efforts to find employment following their graduation.”
But the engineering students do the same assembly line work as factory employees -- gluing PS4 parts, applying stickers, wrapping cords -- and the company says they are paid the same as entry-level Foxconn workers.
Following reports that student interns were assigned to overnight and overtime shifts to help the company meet production deadlines, Foxconn says it conducted an internal investigation and determined that the XIT students at its Yantai factory were assigned to those shifts in violation of the company’s policies.
“Immediate actions have been taken to bring that campus into full compliance with our code and policies,” the company said in a statement, including “reinforcing the policies of no overtime and no night shifts for student interns, even though such work is voluntary, and reminding all interns of their rights to terminate their participation in the program at any time.”
Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industries, was previously criticized for a similar deal with Huaiyin Institute of Technology in which students were required to work on the iPhone 5 assembly line.
Then, as now, the company said the student interns were "free to leave at any time," that is, unless they want to graduate.