Computer maker Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) is moving to reduce the abuse of student workers at its Chinese manufacturing partners.
The company said it will put restrictions on the number of student workers that suppliers can employ at their facilities and will insist that those workers have certain workplace rights. The company plans to conduct more audits to make sure suppliers are complying with the new rules, the Wall Street Journal noted.
Students from vocational schools are often employed in Chinese factories. Younger workers typically face harsher working conditions and can be fired if they protest long working hours.
Labor activists have complained about the plight of student workers in China, many of whom toil in factories that produce goods for U.S. companies. The Chinese government will implement changes to its employment laws that offer student workers some protections in July.
Criticism over worker conditions at Chinese factories has hit a number of U.S. companies, most prominently Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which makes most of its popular electronics products in Asia.
Shares of Hewlett-Packard rose almost 2% in Friday midday trading.