Samsung finishes initial Chinese factory audits, plans long-term solutions to labor woes

Samsung faced some serious allegations surrounding the plants of its Chinese contractor HEG Electronics earlier this month, including potentially dire accusations that HEG was employing child labor. The Korean firm promised audits to set the record straight, and we're seeing the first fruits of those inspections today. The results were decidedly mixed. While there weren't any underage workers when Samsung visited, it did find HEG staff working excessive overtime, some unsafe practices and a system that punished late workers with fines. Samsung's response will go beyond just asking HEG to shape up, though: it plans to finish auditing all 105 of its exclusive Chinese contractors by the end of September, determine whether inspections of non-exclusive contractors are needed and set up a long-term audit schedule past 2013 that includes tougher requirements. While there's no certainty that the reforms will lead to the intended results, we're glad to hear that Samsung wants to turn things around at such a rapid pace.