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Foxconn Denies Pollution Accusations Amid Probe in China

A Foxconn Technology Group employee operates a forklift outside a industrial waste treatment facility at the Longhua Science & Technology Park, also known as Foxconn city, in Shenzhen, China, on April 18, 2011. Photographer: Forbes Conrad/Bloomberg
A Foxconn Technology Group employee operates a forklift outside a industrial waste treatment facility at the Longhua Science & Technology Park, also known as Foxconn city, in Shenzhen, China, on April 18, 2011. Photographer: Forbes Conrad/Bloomberg

Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics, said wastewater from one of its factories in eastern China meets environmental standards as regulators investigate allegations of pollution.

All emissions from the plant in Kunshan meet relevant laws and regulations, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. Foxconn and UniMicron Technology Corp. are being investigated by the government, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Ding Yudong, the vice director of the local department of China’s ministry of environmental protection.

Foxconn, whose Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. assembles Apple Inc. iPhones and iPads, released toxic waste into rivers near the Kunshan plant, according to environmental groups, including the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs. Pollution has displaced land disputes as the main cause of China’s 30,000 to 50,000 annual incidents of civil unrest, Chen Jiping, a member of the top political advisory body to China’s National People’s Congress, said in March.

“We hope that corporations can shoulder their responsibilities in protecting the environment,” Ma Jun, a director with IPE, one of five organizations to criticize Foxconn and UniMicron, said today.

Foxconn has been in talks with the environmental groups in the past two days, although no specific plans have been made, said Ma.

The plants of Foxconn and UniMicron in Kunshan, which is located about 400 miles from Shanghai, are included on Apple’s 2013 supplier list.

“We do not tolerate environmental violations of any kind and regularly audit our suppliers to make sure they are in compliance,” Kitty Potter, a spokeswoman for Apple, said by phone.

Taiwan-based UniMicron didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg News today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.net; Yu-Huay Sun in Taipei at ysun7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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