Investigations have been launched over recent accusations that some factories producing merchandise for the 2008 Olympics are using child labor, a Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee official said on Wednesday.
A report by the Playfair Alliance released on Sunday said four factories in southern China were guilty of labor-law violations by employing children younger than 16 to make official Olympics-licensed products.
"There is a huge gap between the report and what the enterprises told us. All four companies denied that they used child labor," Chen Feng, deputy director of the marketing department at the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG), told a news conference.
Chen said the investigations into the allegations were under way and he would be meeting representatives of the companies later on Wednesday.
"We will continue our investigation until we find out the truth, " Chen said. "If we find any problems, we will severely punish those violators."
BOCOG has been very strict with Olympic-related factories in terms of their record on such areas as corporate responsibility, environmental protection and quality control, said Chen.
"Whatever the conclusions of the investigation, BOCOG would continue to educate those enterprises," he said.
"We want them to realize that their performance in terms of corporate responsibility, environmental protection and quality control has a lot to do with the image of the Olympics, and the reputation of the Olympic games."