Echoing calls from overseas demanding a boycott of Apple products related to treatment of workers in China, Web users in the nation have chimed in with mixed reactions on such an initiative in the Middle Kingdom.
The New York Times recently said the image of Apple was seriously damaged because its subcontractors created poor working conditions and salaries to make its bestselling computers and phones.
The UK-based Guardian said Sunday the company's public image took a dive and the word "boycott" has appeared in media coverage of its activities.
Responding to suggestions people are ready to boycott Apple, some Chinese followed suit. "Our boycott aims to ensure that we will never make a useless sacrifice. Otherwise, Chinese will be bullied by such sweatshops generation after generation," kookbaba, a Web user from Guiyang, Guizhou Province, said on 163.com, one of China' s leading news portals.
"I support the boycott because it can push enterprises to improve their managing systems to benefit workers and their sustainable development," Shen Binti, a lawyer in Beijing, told the Global Times.
In the meantime, some people don't think the boycotts make any sense.
"To be honest, working conditions on the Apple assembly line at the Foxconn plant are much better than some domestic plants," an anonymous Web user in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, said on 163.com.
A boycott won't impact Apple products in China because they are so popular, said Feng Yongfeng. Feng is the founder of the Green Beagle, an environmental protection non-governmental organization in Beijing, which released Apple's subcontractors heavy metals pollution incidents last year.
"Staff at Apple subcontractors couldn't enjoy the same benefits elsewhere. The main problem is that local government should strengthen its supervision of these subcontractors," he told the Global Times.