Apple component manufacturer Foxconn said that one of its workers jumped to his death from his apartment near a company plant in southwestern China, two years after a spate of suicides rocked the Taiwan-based firm and prompted an investigation into the company’s working conditions.
The worker, a 23-year-old with the surname “Xie,” fell to his death on Wednesday in his apartment outside the plant in Sichuan Province, China, Foxconn told Focus Taiwan News Channel. The company said the 23-year-old worker joined the firm last month, while police were investigating the circumstances of his death.
“Foxconn is sparing no efforts in cooperating with the police and offering help in the investigations,” the company was quoted as saying.
China’s official state-run media said the man “fell to his death,” but did not elaborate on whether it was a suicide or not, adding that the cause of death is under investigation.
Foxconn, which is also known as the Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, is the world’s largest manufacturer of electronic components and is a main supplier for Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and other large electronics companies.
A number of workers killed themselves in several Chinese plants in 2010, and human rights groups blamed the deaths on poor working conditions similar to those of sweatshops—including hazardous working conditions, poor living conditions for staff who live onsite, and poor treatment of workers.
The U.S.-based Fair Labor Association found in March that there were numerous problems with overtime compensation, several health and safety risks, and other unsafe working conditions.
Since the suicides, the company has said it would make efforts to improve working conditions, while Apple last month said it would share initial costs to help with the process.
The Chengdu plant employs approximately 120,000 workers who make liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors for Apple iPhones.
Around ten days ago, hundreds of workers rioted at the plant, according to a report from dissident website Mohilua. Dozens of people were arrested in the incident and reports said rioters threw beer bottles, trash cans, chairs, and other objects, while damaging property.
It was estimated that between 100 and a few thousand people took part in the riot. Several hundred police officers were deployed on the scene to quell the disturbance.
Last June, several people were also killed in an explosion in Foxconn’s Chengdu facility.
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