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Nintendo says Foxconn taking 'full responsibility' for hiring underage workers at supply factory

Foxconn promises Nintendo this won't happen again

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's investigation of a Foxconn factory in China "where components for some Nintendo products are produced" has confirmed the plant was using underage workers, in violation of Nintendo's agreement with its suppliers, and Foxconn has "taken full responsibility" for the incident, according to a statement Nintendo sent to Polygon today.

Last week, Foxconn announced that an internal investigation found that individuals as young as 14 were employed at its facility in Yantai, China. Nintendo began investigating the matter itself, and told Polygon at the time, "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."

Nintendo's Corporate Social Responsibility Procurement guidelines mandate that its suppliers in China hire workers according to the Chinese Labor Contract Law, which sets the minimum working age at 16. The company "determined that this [incident] was a violation" of those guidelines.

"As one of many companies that work with Foxconn to enhance CSR along the whole supply chain, we take this issue very seriously," said Nintendo.

For its part, Foxconn has "moved quickly to ensure that all affected individuals no longer work at Foxconn," according to Nintendo's statement, which also pointed out that Foxconn itself prohibits the use of child labor. The Chinese manufacturing giant has "pledged to Nintendo via direct communications to improve its process of enforcing this policy to avoid any similar issues in the future," said Nintendo.

In addition, the company said it will continue to conduct on-site inspections at its suppliers, in line with its CSR policies, "in order to understand the actual on-site conditions and to promote socially responsible procurement."

The Voice of China radio show "Breadth of News" previously reported that the Yantai plant was manufacturing Wii U consoles for Nintendo.

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