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Army of Women Earning $4 a Day Could Be Behind Your Next Phone

The world’s largest contract manufacturer, Foxconn, is seeking to reduce its reliance on China as Trump’s trade war drags on.

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Female employees work on the factory floor at Foxconn’s Sri City assembly plant in the state of Andhra Pradesh, on July 11. 

Female employees work on the factory floor at Foxconn’s Sri City assembly plant in the state of Andhra Pradesh, on July 11. 

Photographer: Karen Dias/Bloomberg

On a steamy summer morning, dozens of buses pull up outside a cluster of low-slung, blue buildings in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Women dressed in colorful salwar kameezes disembark, their dupatta body scarves billowing as they make their way past hibiscus bushes and posters proclaiming, “Our aim, no accident.”

The night shift at Foxconn Technology Group’s mobile phone plant in Sri City is ending, and thousands of young women are punching out as others stream in to replace them. One of the arrivals is Jennifer Jayadas, a tall, slim 21-year-old who lives several miles away in a two-room hut with no running water.