Another Suicide Reported at Apple Manufacturer Foxconn in China

November 10, 2009 Updated: November 10, 2009

A 23-year-old male employee of a major manufacturer of Apple computer products in China, Foxconn, is alleged to have committed suicide on Nov. 4 after being verbally taunted by his supervisor, according to a blog post on the community portal of the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper.

The post was followed up by a report in the Daily, in print and online. If true, it would be the second suicide by a Foxconn employee in southern China’s city of Shenzhen since last July.

The man alleged to have committed suicide, Tan Guoxi, was an employee of a “large corporate company,” according to the follow-up report on Nov. 6 by the Daily. The Daily’s report did not mention Foxconn by name, but referred to the post on its community portal which did.

The Daily’s report said that a representative of the unnamed company visited the newspaper’s office on Nov. 5 and confirmed that a worker surnamed Tan had jumped off a building due to stress.

The blogger, using the name “black eyes” on the Daily’s community portal, wrote that the Foxconn employee jumped from an 11-story building and died. The man hit another male employee upon landing, the post said, knocking the other unconsciousness before hitting the ground himself.

“That day as he was about to go home the manager insulted him terribly. He, being young, was unable to bear the humiliation and jumped off the building to kill himself and show he was innocent,” the post said. The user “black eyes” didn’t say in the message how he or she had obtained the information.

Foxconn attempted to block the news, telling employees not to talk about it, according to the post.

The Epoch Times called the Foxconn plant in Shenzhen in an attempt verify the reports. An operator who answered the phone declined to transfer the call to a supervisor or media contact who could address queries.

A Foxconn employee contacted in the Quality Control department said the plant has about 200,000 to 300,000 employees, but refused to make any comment on the suicide, saying “We are not in the same department. I’m not in a position to reveal anything.”

A man who identified himself as Tan’s co-worker told a Southern Metropolis Daily reporter that Tan had just began working for the company on Sept. 1. He was an introverted person who seldom interacted with his co-workers, and was under a lot of pressure because he had been criticized by his supervisor for being slow and inefficient at work, the report quoted him as saying.

Last July Sun Danyong, 25, a Foxconn employee, committed suicide by jumping from his apartment; he was under investigation for the disappearance of a company’s prototype iPhone.

Several hours before he died he sent a text message to a college schoolmate’s cell phone saying he had been illegally searched, beaten, and subject to solitary confinement while being interrogated by Foxconn security, according to the Chinese newspaper Nanfang Daily.

The Foxconn Technology Group was founded in Taiwan in 1974 by Terry Gou, according to its website.

Since 2001 it has been one of the largest exporters in China. Communist Party leaders Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin, and Wen Jiabao have all visited its manufacturing plants.

Read original Chinese article.