The world is always amazed at how well Apple keeps its newest gizmos secret. How do they do it? One Reuters reporter found out the hard way that you do not go sneaking around their Chinese suppliers' manufacturing plants.
Commenter Uncle_billy_Slumming pointed us to this Reuters report on the pressures Apple puts on its suppliers to keep its secrets. Buried in the middle is a harrowing account of the reporter's trip to a supplier called Foxconn in Guanlan, China. Basically, security guards went at him like a gang of drunken Eagles fans who happen to come across a guy in a Giants windbreaker walking down the streets of Philly. After the reporter took pictures of the plant from a public road, a guard got angry. He blocked the taxi the reporter was leaving in and forced him to get out. Then things got ugly:
The correspondent got out and insisted he was within his rights as he was on the main road. The guard grabbed his arm. A second guard ran over, and with a crowd of Foxconn workers watching, they tried dragging him into the factory.
The reporter asked to be let go. When that didn't happen, he jerked himself free and started walking off. The older guard kicked him in the leg, while the second threatened to hit him again if he moved. A few minutes later, a Foxconn security car came along but the reporter refused to board it. He called the police instead.
After the authorities arrived and mediated, the guards apologized and the matter was settled. The reporter left without filing a complaint, though the police gave him the option of doing so.
"You're free to do what you want," the policeman explained, "But this is Foxconn and they have a special status here. Please understand."
Somewhere, Steve Jobs is sitting in a high-backed chair by a dying fire, cracking his knuckles one-by-one as he strokes a cat and mutters ominously to himself: "Don't fuck with Apple."