Nice to meet you.
I’m Xiaowu.
I work at the
Foxconn Factory.

Have you heard
of Foxconn before?

Foxconn is the largest supplier of Apple electronics.

I work at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China. I started working at Foxconn in 2015. I’m a skilled worker. I work on fixing molds. There are many large machines in the factory with different molds. I sometimes repair them when they break.

… What do you do for a living?

It was so hard and painful at first. They give you a piece of metal and you use this tool to polish it until it becomes as clear as a mirror. My right hand is much more swollen than my left hand.

… Is your job tough?

I earn ¥3500 (US$550)* a month for 60 hours of work per week, but they allow me to work overtime on the weekends so I get to earn around ¥4000, but they deduct insurance, which is around ¥500 and meals which is around ¥200 and then there’s also taxes. Foxconn pays less than other factories but it’s stable. Other smaller factories often shut down or move. Plus they always need people, and they are not picky.

I’ve worked at many different factories, factories that make printers, photocopiers, cameras, lenses, toys, floor tile, glass screens and high tech police monitoring equipment.

I started working when I was 14. My two younger brothers and younger sister wanted to go to school. My older sister couldn’t make enough money to send them all to school, so I went and worked with her to help earn more money for them.

Sometimes I ask myself.
What do I live for?
Do I live for my family?

I don’t move around as much anymore. My friends are all married and they say I’m too old to be single. But I’m so afraid of getting married – having to deal with the mother-in-law, the childcare. I don’t want to lose my freedom. I used to bear so much of my family’s pressure, I don’t want to go through it again. I want to be free.

Do you feel this way?

*The MADE VR team interviewed and filmed Xiaowu in 2017, she has since left Foxconn but her story still represents many like her, who try to make a living producing Apple products.