Samsung to investigate child labor claims against Chinese supplier

Count factory labor controversies as one area where Samsung really doesn’t want to copy Apple.

Samsung announced today that it will send an in-house team to investigate HEG Electronics, a supplier accused of using child labor in its Huizhou, China factory.

The claims were published in a Sunday report by human rights group Child Labor Watch, which in one investigation found seven children under the age of 16 working in the factory.

“It is our demand that the relevant brand companies and factories compensate these child workers and help them to get back into school and continue their education,” China Labor Watch said in the report.

The organization estimates that up to 100 children could be working in the factory — five percent of the workforce . The company also manufactures products for Motorola and LG.

Samsung was quick to respond to the claims, saying that it had discovered no signs of child labor in its previous pair of investigations.

“Samsung Electronics is a company held to the highest standards of working conditions, and we try to maintain that at our facilities and the facilities of partner companies around the world,” Samsung said in its statement.

Samsung isn’t the first company to defend itself against claims that its factories are up to no good. When Apple faced similar charges earlier this year, the resulting uproar forced CEO Tim Cook to fly over to a Foxconn production facility to see things for himself.

Something tells me that Samsung CEO Geesung Choi could find himself booking a similar flight very soon.

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