Apple supplier penalized for polluting nearby river in China

Apple is investigating the incident, according to an environmental group

An Apple supplier known for making iPads has been penalized by Chinese authorities for turning a nearby river in Shanghai "white" after dumping pollutants during the nation's Spring Festival holiday.

The supplier, RiTeng Computer Accessory, had wrongfully dumped waste water used for cleaning processes due to suspected staff negligence, according to a Friday statement from a parent company.

Authorities first became aware of the problem after residents had reported that the river's water had turned white, a local environmental protection bureau reported. The water was then traced back to RiTeng's facilities in the area.

The bureau's preliminary investigation found that the waste water including cutting fluid and oil that had flowed from the company's storm drain. Other environmental problems were also found including noise levels exceeding standards.

The environmental bureau has penalized the supplier, although it is unclear if the company was fined. RiTeng's parent company Casetek made its Friday statement in response to a news report that said the supplier would be forced to pay 270,000 yuan (US$43,000).

The RiTeng facilities, however, are still operating normally. The supplier is complying with the authorities' investigation, and working to resolve the problems, Casetek added.

RiTeng was previously in the news for a factory explosion that sent 61 workers to hospital in December 2011. One of the factories there is known to assemble iPads. Company workers have complained of chemical smells and unpaid overtime.

Apple, however, has been making progress in keeping its suppliers in line with environmental regulations, said Wang Jingjing, vice director for China's Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE). The group had previously been critical of Apple for failing to monitor its suppliers. But the company has since stepped up audits and increased pressure on suppliers to comply, she said.

"Apple has opened up and you can see they have taken a great effort to push their suppliers to take corrective action," Wang said. The group released a report last month documenting the improvements.

IPE has already informed Apple about the wastewater dumping by RiTeng, and the U.S. company is sending staff to investigate, according to Wang.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleenvironmentElectronics manufacturingHealth and safetyRiTeng Computer Accessory

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?