Welcome to a brave new world of capitalism propelled by high tech, guarded by enterprising authority, and carried forward by millions of laborers being robbed of their souls. Gathered into mammoth factory complexes and terrified into obedience, these workers feed the world's addiction to iPhones and other commodities--a generation of iSlaves trapped in a global ecomic system that relies upon and studiously igres their oppression. Focusing on the alliance between Apple and the torious Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn, Jack Linchuan Qiu examines how corporations and governments everywhere collude to build systems of domination, exploitation, and alienation. His interviews, news analysis, and first-hand observation show the circumstances faced by Foxconn workers--circumstances with vivid parallels in the Atlantic slave trade. Qiu also shows how the fanatic consumption of digital media also creates compulsive free labor that constitutes a form of bondage for the user. Arguing as a digital abolitionist, Qiu draws inspiration from transborder activist groups and forms of grassroots resistance to make a passionate plea aimed at uniting--and liberating--the forgotten workers who make our twenty-first-century lives possible.
Jack Linchuan Qiu is a professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is the author of Working-Class Network Society: Communication Technology and the Information Have-Less in Urban China .