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Lead poisoning sickens hundreds of children in China

Environmentalists warn that these figures merely represent the tip of the iceberg. 

iPhone Foxconn factory workers demand change

Two workers at a Foxconn factory, the makers of the iPhone, are demanding reforms and pleading for help.
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A group of protestors from SACOM (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour) demonstrate outside the Foxconn annual general meeting (AGM) in Hong Kong on May 18, 2011. Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn has been accused of treating its workers 'machines' according to SACOM. At least 13 Foxconn employees died in apparent suicides last year. (Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images)

The makers of the iPhone, the actual workers who assemble the phones for sometimes 18 hours a day, have released an open letter to the American public demanding better working conditions.

In the letter, released to the SumOfUs organization, the workers said that a mass poisoning took place at the factory when laborers used the n-hexane chemical to clean iPhone screens. They claim that n-hexane has caused some workers to suffer neurological damage.

More from GlobalPost: Foxconn protests: workers reportedly threatened suicide

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Apple defends its right to use iPad name in China

Can Apple use the name iPad in China? The company made its case today in court.
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The Apple logo sign on the San Francisco Apple store is turned off in memory of Steve Jobs on October 6, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Kevork Djansezian/AFP/Getty Images)

It's been a big day for Apple in China.

The world's most valuable company — and America's hottest brand — defended its right to use the iPad name at the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court.

Yes, it's a big deal when a company faces a legal challenge to its fastest-selling product.

But it's an ever bigger deal when that challenge happens to be in China, the world's fastest-growing market.

As Macro readers know from our ongoing coverage of the story, Apple was sued by a small Chinese firm Proview International, which claims that it owns the rights to the iPad name in China. 

Proview has had some success against Apple in the dispute: Chinese authorities have seized iPads from some retailers, and iPad sales have been blocked in several smaller Chinese cities. 

On Tuesday, Apple sent a nasty letter to Proview's chairman (read it here in both Mandarin and English).

Apple also put out this statement:

"We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter. Our case is still pending in mainland China.” 

So how did it go in court Wednesday?

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China steel factory explosion kills 13

The state-run Xinhua News Agency said the accident was due to a mold exploding at the workshop, though the agency did not clarify the cause of the explosion.

Wal-mart takes majority stake in China e-commerce firm

China’s e-commerce industry is expected to surpass $118 billion in gross merchandise value in 2011, and is expected to become the world’s largest e-commerce market in 2015.

Xi Jinping, Chinese VP, calls on US to respect ties, deepen trust

China’s presumptive next president calls for renewed respect, deeper trust between the world's two largest economies.

Xi Jinping, Obama meet at White House

The Chinese vice president is the most likely successor to President Hu Jintao, and this visit may offer glimpses into his leadership style.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao promises help to tackle EU debt crisis

Europe is China’s largest trading partner, with trade worth around $740 billion flowing between the two in 2011. Last week the IMF warned that an escalation of the EU debt crisis could halve China’s growth rates.

Apple factory in Foxconn City inspected by Fair Labor Association

A 2009 GlobalPost investigation found that human rights abuses are common at factories where Apple products are made.
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