Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn and the Lives of China's Workers

Jenny Chan, Mark Selden, Ngai Pun

Research output: Authored / edited bookResearch book or monograph (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


A harrowing look lives and struggles of a new generation of Chinese workers confronting the Apple-Foxconn empire and the Chinese state.

Suicides, excessive overtime, and hostility and violence on the factory floor in China. Drawing on vivid testimonies from rural migrant workers, student interns, managers and trade union staff, Dying for an iPhone is a devastating expose of two of the world’s most powerful companies: Foxconn and Apple.

As the leading manufacturer of iPhones, iPads, and Kindles, and employing one million workers in China alone, Taiwanese-invested Foxconn’s drive to dominate global electronics manufacturing has aligned perfectly with China’s goal of becoming the world leader in technology. This book reveals the human cost of that ambition and what our demands for the newest and best technology means for workers.

Foxconn workers have repeatedly demonstrated their power to strike at key nodes of transnational production, challenge management and the Chinese state, and confront global tech behemoths. Dying for an iPhone allows us to assess the impact of global capitalism’s deepening crisis on workers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationChicago
PublisherHaymarket Books
Number of pages300
ISBN (Electronic)9781642592047
ISBN (Print)9781642591248, 9781642592252
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Apple
  • Foxconn
  • China
  • Suicide
  • Global electronics production
  • Labor
  • Sociology
  • Student interns
  • The state


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  • Outstanding Academic Titles 2022: China

    Chan, Jenny (Recipient), Selden, Mark (Recipient) & Ngai , Pun (Recipient), 25 Jan 2023

    Prize: Honorary awardHonorary award (research)

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