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Apple uncovers child labor in its manufacturing chain; drops supplier

Apple has cut ties with a supplier that was found to have 74 employees under the age of 16.

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A policeman asks Apple fans leave Apple's Beijing flagship store today in Beijing. Apple, with China's leading telecommunications carrier, China Unicom, began to sell Apple's iPhone 4S on the Chinese mainland today. (Feng Li/AFP/Getty Images)

Apple has cut ties with one Chinese supplier that was found to have 74 workers under the age of 16. 

The technology giant's manufacturers were found to have participated in over 100 cases of child labor, according to the 2013 Apple Supplier Responsibility report

70 out of almost 400 Apple suppliers were involved in employing under aged workers, many of whom were recruited and hired with the help of forged identity papers, the International Business Times reported.

Apple has terminated its relationship with Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics, the supplier where the bulk of the child labor was uncovered, RT News reported.

“Our approach to underage labor is clear: We don’t tolerate it, and we’re working to eradicate it from our industry,” Apple wrote in the report. “When we discover suppliers with underage workers or find out about historical cases ... we demand immediate corrective action.”

More from GlobalPost: In tell-all labor report, Apple airs suppliers' dirty laundry, promises to do better

Apple's senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams also noted that child labor is much more pervasive in manufacturing than most companies will admit. 

"Most companies, they either don't report on it at all, or they say they look for it and found none, or they obscure the data in some way," Williams told Bloomberg Businessweek. "If they're not finding it, they're not looking hard enough."

The annual progress report also found a host of other issues at Apple's suppliers, who demanded mandatory pregnancy tests, confiscated wages to pay off tariffs imposed by recruitment agencies, and forcing under aged workers to lift heavy loads, the Guardian reported

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/technology/130126/apple-uncovers-child-labor-drops-supplier