Foxconn, the manufacturer of several popular products from Apple, Dell, Intel, Sony, and Nintendo has recently admitted to employing factory workers younger than the age of 16. Nintendo is now investigating the matter in efforts to quell any child labor connections.
According to Reuters, Foxconn Technology Group representatives admitted to hiring workers “as young as 14″—a direct violation of national Chinese law:
“Our investigation has shown that the interns in question, who ranged in age from 14 to 16, had worked in that campus for approximately three weeks,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This is not only a violation of China’s labor law, it is also a violation of Foxconn policy and immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their educational institutions.”
IGN notes that Foxconn was recently hired to manufacture the Wii U, which is anticipated for massive holiday sales and early supply/demand issues. Naturally, the implication of child labor throws a dark spot on Nintendo, as Foxconn has already come under massive media scrutiny due to employee suicides and various strikes.
Nintendo responded to IGN with a comment on the matter, pledging to investigate the issue and ensure that Foxconn follows ethical standards in the Wii U’s production. Interestingly, the company doesn’t suggest that they would break ties with Foxconn, but affirm that this issue is being taken “very seriously” by executives.