Cheap and Slave Labor—A Tough Combo to Beat
Yongkang, in prosperous Zhejiang Providence just south of Shanghai, is the hardware capital of China. Its 7,000 metal-working factories—all privately owned—make hinges, hubcaps, pots and pans, power drills, security doors, tool boxes, thermoses, electric razors, headphones, plugs, fans, and just about anything else with metallic innards.
Yongkang, which means “eternal health” in Chinese, is also the dismemberment capital of China. At least once a day, someone is rushed to one of the dozen clinics that specialize in treating hand, arm, and finger injuries.... The reality, all over China, is that workplace casualties have become endemic.
—New York Times
Labor is undeniably cheap in China. However, wages ...