On a trip to Taiwan where he was rewarding some employees with a free trip, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou asked the crowd, "What's wrong with sweatshops? All farmers sweat before they harvest?" according to the Chinese site The China Times (translated via Google).
"We sweat and we bleed, as long as we comply with the law," Gou continued.
The trip was designed to help improve Foxconn's image after recent negative coverage of the company's production practices. The company is a key manufacturer in Apple's consumer-product pipeline, including the iPhone and iPad.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was recently in China (something Steve Jobs never did) to help address the practices -- and the perception of those practices -- in light of the New York Times' and other news coverage of the unfair labor practices reported in that country.
Gou stressed that Foxconn would build 17 more factories across China, so workers could live closer to their families. He also said Foxconn would build a hospital in Shenzhen, China, to contribute to the medical infrastructure there.