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Number Nine at Foxconn

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BEIJING (Rixstep) — A young man died after falling from the seventh floor of a Foxconn worker's dormitory in southern China, making this the iPhone manufacturer's ninth case of fatality or injury since January 2010.

The Taiwan-owned company otherwise can boast a total of eight suicide attempts, six of which have been 'successful' (fatal).

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The death is currently ruled a suicide, despite the body having been inflicted with stab wounds and a bloody knife being found nearby. This brings the Foxconn suicide body count up to seven. Two further people were seriously injured in suicide attempts, bringing the grand total up to 9.

Foxconn - aka Hon Hai Precision Industry - are headquartered in Taiwan, are the world's largest maker of computer components, and contract with Apple for iPhone assembly as well as with Dell and Hewlett-Packard. They employ more than 420,000 workers in Shenzhen, a special economic zone bordering Hong Kong.

The Chinese Labour Bulletin said last month that these tragedies highlight the pressure put on Chinese workers who work long hours away from their families. Outbreaks of violence in the dormitories are also not uncommon.

Sun Danyong (below) was accused back in July 2009 of having stolen an iPhone; he was questioned and later found to have taken his life.

Foxconn insist their workers are treated as 'world class', yet here's the toll so far for 2010.

  • 2010-05-11: 24yo Chu rents a flat in Shenzhen then jumps from the building to her death.
  • 2010-05-06: 24yo Lu Xin jumps from a 6 floor balcony in Longhua.
  • 2010-04-07: 22yo employee commits suicide at Mission Hills Cheung Kok Estate.
  • 2010-04-07: 18yo Ning falls to her death outside Mission Hills factory dormitory.
  • 2010-04-06: 18yo Roa jumps from the Mission Hills female dormitory and is currently still hospitalised.
  • 2010-03-29: 23yo worker falls from dormitory in Longhua.
  • 2010-03-17: female employee injured after jumping from a third floor dormitory window in Longhua.
  • 2010-01-23: 19yo Ma Xiangqian jumps and dies at 16:00 local time.

Why Do They Jump?

'Everyone wants to know why so many Foxconn workers are jumping to their death, seven of them just this year. What's behind the incidents?' writes 'Key' at ChinaHush. Lu Xin's classmate Zeng Hongling was witness to his friend's jump.

'He said he was going to look at the scenery and right after he finished his sentence, he quickly slide open the window and jumped onto the balcony, then jumped off from the balcony. He never hesitated. I tried to grab him, but only pulled his clothes on his left arm, he threw my hand off.'

Zeng started noticing erratic behaviour in his friend only a fortnight ago, suddenly complaining people were following him and trying to kill him and talking of returning home to Hunan province. 'Every time when he got off the car, he went looking for the patrol police, he said that someone people want to kill him and want to harm him.'

'You're from Shenzhen? Got any bad drugs?'

See Also
The Age: Foxconn's mounting toll
INQUIRER.net: Employee dies at suicide-plagued company in China
ChinaHush: Why do Foxconn employees keep jumping off buildings?

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