Chinese College Students Reportedly Forced to Build Apple's New iPhone 5

Reports are surfacing once again of poor and/or questionable working conditions at a Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision) plant in China where Apple devices are being built. The latest revolves around thousands of local college students being forced to work long shifts putting together iPhone 5 devices rather than attending class.

Foxconn is reportedly short on workers to meet expected demand for Apple's upcoming iPhone 5 smartphone, which will be announced on September 12 and likely start shipping later in the month or in October at the latest. Classes have reportedly been suspended at nearby institutions so that students can pick up the slack.

Foxconn Building

The issue appears to have gained attention when a female student at the Huaiyin Insititute of Technology wrote in an online post that 200 students from her school had been driven to Foxconn's factory, but had to pay hundreds of yuan for food and accommodation.

According to a local newspaper, her post prompted students from at least five other colleges in the area to chime in with similar accounts of what's been going on. One student said that Foxconn was in desperate need of 10,000 workers, while another complained of having to work 12 hour shifts.

Apparently authorities in the area ordered nearby schools to suspend operations and send their students to the plant. The students usually go along with the flow for "fear of revenge" and not being allowed to graduate, a local paper reports.