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Nintendo investigating Foxconn plant that hired underage interns

"We take our responsibilities as a global company very seriously" Nintendo

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Nintendo is examining its Foxconn supplier in Yantai, China, a plant that was found earlier this week in an internal Foxconn investigation to have been using interns as young as 14, according to a statement given to Polygon by Nintendo today.

Nintendo says it is "investigating the matter" and is "committed to an ethical policy on sourcing, manufacture and labor." The statement also pointed out the company's Corporate Social Responsibility Procurement guidelines, which are "based on relevant laws, international standards and guidelines." Nintendo requires its suppliers to adhere to its CSR Procurement rules, and said, "If we were to find that any of our production partners did not meet our guidelines, we would require them to modify their practices according to Nintendo's policy."

According to Nintendo's Corporate Social Responsibility report, the company conducts on-site inspections at its suppliers' plants to ensure, among other factors, that the factories use employment contracts that "have been signed by all workers in compliance with the Chinese Labor Contract Law." That law, which went into effect in 2008, mandates a minimum working age of 16.

Nintendo did not confirm whether the Yantai plant was manufacturing Wii U consoles, a report that came from the Voice of China radio show "Breadth of News." According to the report, the factory employed "50 to 60" underage interns, although the most recent investigation by workers' rights organization China Labor Watch put the number at 200.

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