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Disney Princess dolls on the production line at Shenzhen Wei Lee Fung Plastic Products.
Disney Princess dolls on the production line at Shenzhen Wei Lee Fung Plastic Products. Photograph: Gethin Chamberlain/China Labor Watch

Undercover investigation by China Labor Watch exposes low wages, hazardous chemicals and overtime beyond legal limits

Xiao Fang thinks she’s one of the luckier workers making Barbie dolls for the Christmas market at the Mattel toy factory in Chang’an.

True, she says, she works 11-hour days, six days a week, and shares a dormitory with nine other women and gets to see her husband only once a week. She had to leave her three-year-old daughter back home in Sichuan. And there is only a communal bathroom, and if they want hot water they must fetch it from another floor. But at least she has a job, she says. And others have it worse.

Xiao is one of thousands of workers in Chinese factories making some of this year’s…

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