Chinese Workers Jailed for Stealing 200 iPhones Off Factory Floor

Issued sentences ranging from eight months to seven years

A Shanghai court has sentenced ten former Pegatron employees, an Apple contract manufacturer, to jail for stealing over 200 iPhones off the factory floor. The value of the stolen goods is believed to be worth over one million yuan ($154,000).

The six factory workers and four cafeteria staff were given sentences ranging from eight months to seven years in jail, convicted of various crimes such as theft, embezzlement and concealing illicit gains.

Shanghai prosecutors said the criminal ring started with just two Pegatron workers named Pei and Shi. The two managed to steal five Apple iPhone 6 units in June of last year, which were then successfully taken from the factory by a third worker, identified as Li, the deputy manager of the cafeteria.

As the number of employees involved in the scheme grew, the criminal ring was able to steal more and more phones. Between June 2014 and January 2015, 227 iPhones, 360 motherboards, and 58 Apple batteries were taken from the factory.

This isn’t the the first scandal to hit Pegatron, either. In October, China Labor Watch released a report which claimed 58 percent of Pegatron employees making iPads and iPhones were working in excess of 60 hours a week, and forced to work overtime despite Chinese labor laws which only permit overtime hours if they are voluntary.

Pegatron employees have also made headlines for leaking details on new iPhones. In August 2013, a Pegatron employee posted a photo that confirmed the company was working on the iPhone 5C (shown below).


Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor