By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
February 22, 2012

Bill Weir dons a bunny suit and takes a camera into Foxconn’s Shenzhen facilities

With Apple’s (AAPL) permission, Foxconn for the first time allowed a reporter and his camera crew into its famous Shenzhen, China, factory complex. The 17-minute report aired Tuesday night.

Apart from some details about the production processes (it takes 141 steps, mostly done by hand, to assemble an iPhone) there’s little news here that wasn’t in the reporter’s notebook Nightline co-host Bill Weir filed on Monday. But the segment is worth watching if only for his exclusive video of the endless production lines, the huge cafeterias, the crowded dorm rooms, the suicide nets, the stampede of job seekers and a glimpse of life in the villages where they come from.

Weir also accompanied the Fair Labor Association as it made an Apple-sponsored audit of the facility. “I expect them to put on a show for us,” FLA president Auret van Heerden told Weir. And indeed, AppleInsider Wednesday related the claims of a local labor group that Foxconn hid its underage employees before the auditors arrived.

ABC’s YouTube link is pasted above. The video is also available at Nightline’s website here.

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