Global capital, the state, and Chinese workers : the Foxconn experience

Ngai PUN*, Jenny CHAN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

168 Citations (Scopus)


In 2010, a startling 18 young migrant workers attempted suicide at Foxconn Technology Group production facilities in China. This article looks into the development of the Foxconn Corporation to understand the advent of capital expansion and its impact on frontline workers' lives in China. It also provides an account of how the state facilitates Foxconn's production expansion as a form of monopoly capital. Foxconn stands out as a new phenomenon of capital expansion because of the incomparable speed and scale of its capital accumulation in all regions of China. This article explores how the workers at Foxconn, the world's largest electronics manufacturer, have been subjected to work pressure and desperation that might lead to suicides on the one hand but also open up daily and collective resistance on the other hand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-410
Number of pages28
JournalModern China
Issue number4
Early online date14 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support received from the independent Foxconn Research Group. Funding support was received from two research grants from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, titled “The Making of Trans-Border Community in the Pearl River Delta: A Trans-Border Urban Governance Analysis” and “The Making of Working Class Community: Space, Gender and Labor,” and a Reid Research Scholarship from the University of London.


  • Chinese state
  • Foxconn Technology Group
  • global capital
  • rural migrant workers
  • student workers


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