Scenes from The World's Factory

A journalist offers a personal account and striking images from Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, China, home to factories that the produce a wide variety of exported goods.
"Guangzhou's train station was a depressing sight," writes Hsiao-Hung Pai, a journalist who offers a personal account and striking images from Guangzhou. The city is the capital of Guangdong, China's most populous province, and the home to a factories that employ migrant workers to produce everything from iPhones to buttons.

"It was nearly midnight and the day's waves of travelers had receded, leaving a tidemark of litter on the concrete floor. The place was filthy and cold. Many of the city's jobless migrants had come to spend the night here. They arrived in groups of seven or eight, men and women from Guangxi and Yunnan, mostly in their thirties and forties, pulling heavy plastic bags of personal belongings across the station floor. They'd search for a corner and sit, leaning against their bags. Some dozed off quickly, weary after a day spent walking around the city looking for work. Others kept their eyes wide open, on the watch for security officers."

Full Story: Factory of the World: Scenes from Guangdong

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