Samsung has suspended cooperation with one of its Chinese suppliers due to concerns the company has been abusing child labour.
Samsung announced the decision after a US–based China Labour Watch released a report, describing five cases of child labour abuse at Dongguan Shinyang Electronics, a company supplying mobile phone parts to Samsung.
China prohibits employing children and Samsung prides itself on a zero-tolerance policy towards child labour.
Following the revelations by China Labour Watch, Samsung said it will investigate the conditions at Dongguan Shinyang Electronics, despite having conducted three audits since 2012 when similar allegations first surfaced. The previous audits, last of which has been completed at the end of June, have found no evidence of misconduct.
China Labour Watch said children as well as minors under 18 worked at Shinyang for three to six months to meet production targets during a period of high demand. The watchdog said the child workers were paid for 10 hours a day but worked 11 hours.
The report detailed 15 labour violations discovered during its undercover investigation. They included child labour, the absence of safety training, no overtime wages and no social insurance for temporary workers, who constituted at least 40 per cent of 1,200 employees at the company.
Samsung said Chinese authorities are investigating the case and if the investigation finds child labour, Samsung will permanently stop doing business with Shinyang.