The business world has experienced very important events and changes in the last month. Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook has announced that Apple is interested in moving one of its mac lines back to US. In addition, HSBC was fined 1.92 billion dollars due to illegal money laundering to a drug smuggling group. Lastly, countries started to complain about Google’s untaxed profits in their own countries.
After Tim Cook announced that Apple wants to move one of the productions of one of mac products to US, some critiques said that Apple wants this because of the Foxconn employee issues. To remind the issue, one of the biggest partners of Apple in China is Foxconn, which provides Apple with labor. While the IPhone 5 was being produced in China, evidences showed that people working in the factories were like 19th century industrial workers. This was a big controversy and now people think that Apple is trying to get rid of this blemish by moving its production lines back to US. On the other hand, if such an idea is implemented, Apple will provide job opportunities for many Americans, maybe becoming one of the cures to the effects of the financial crisis.
Another incident that took place in December was the 1.9 billion dollar penalty of HSBC. On the past months, HSBC was sued for illegal money laundering to drug smugglers and the interesting fact is that the CEO of HSBC has accepted nearly all the accusations and apologized in public by using the words, “We accept responsibility for our past mistakes. We have said we are profoundly sorry for them, and we do so again.” This means that while giving the loans, they were aware of the fact that these loans were going to be used for illegal drug trafficking. As a result, HSBC was charged with the biggest penalty ever for a bank.
Lastly, some countries have been complaining about the amount of tax paid by Google to their countries. They claim that Google actually has to pay a lot more than it is paying at the moment. By implementing some tricks, Google has managed to
have a 2.4% tax rate last year, which is the lowest of top 5 US companies. While Google is worried about its future problems, this issue brings up the question of whether customers will have to pay for using Google or not. If Google starts to pay more taxes, it will somehow need to increase its profit, which may be made possible by asking customers to pay for membership or etc.
All these incidents demonstrate the dirty secrets of big companies and these are only the ones that are on the surface. When they are disclosed to public, they have the potential to affect millions of lives. Also these events bring out the question of business ethics. It seems like in the 21th century big corporations have completely lost their sense of ethics.