Feeds

MacBook case fabs kick up a right stink

Production hit by neighbours' odour complaints

Boost IT visibility and business value

Taiwanese parts supplier Catcher Technology has been forced to close down some of its production systems in China's Suzhou province after local residents complained to the authorities about "odours" coming from its factories.

The move is the latest sign that the Chinese government is starting to take environmental fears over its huge industrial sector seriously. Many of the world's tech firms rely on the country's factories to churn out electronics for the masses.

Catcher's announcement to the stock exchange on Sunday, followed by clarification on Monday, said that it would speed up its "improving process" to try to get production back online before it starts to lose out on revenues:

Once those machines get approval from authorities then those machines will start to operate.

If the certain produce processes cannot restart its operation by end of Oct, the sales revenue of Oct will be affected by 20 per cent. And the sales revenue of Nov will affected by 40 per cent.

The parts manufacturer also said that it had been making metal casing products "for many decades" and its painting materials were similar to household paints and harmless to people:

According to our recent examinations conducted by certified institution, both the chemical materials and odours meet the safety marks. Our subsidiaries set up at Suzhou Industrial Park for more than 10 years. In the past few years, we have invested for more than hundred million RMB (renminbi) in environmental protection facilities, material and manpower.

Catcher's website says it makes casings for PCs, smartphones and other devices and counts Apple, Dell, Acer, Motorola, LG and Samsung among its customers. Along with better-known firm Foxconn International, it is the major producer of casings for mobile electronics, according to analysts.

In August, the company said it would be operating at full capacity to the end of this year, due to strong demand for magnesium-aluminium alloy chassis – the kind used on MacBook Airs and Pros.

Catcher put its smartphone and tablet PC chassis business at 55 to 60 per cent of its revenues for this year, according to Digitimes.

The possibility that technology firms will pull orders from Catcher and transfer them to Foxconn pushed the latter company's shares up 4.08 per cent by the end of Monday's trading in Taiwan. Meanwhile, Catcher stock dropped 6.91 per cent.

The Chinese government has appeared to become more active in pushing for better environmental practices from its factories in recent months.

Apple's supply chain was singled out for a tongue-lashing in a 46-page report at the start of September from the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in Beijing that said illegal pollution was being produced by dozens of suspected Apple suppliers throughout the country. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.