Chinese worker commits suicide over missing iPhone

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 22 Jul 2009

GUANGZHOU, China: An employee at a factory that makes iPhones in China killed himself after a prototype went missing.

Apple Inc. offered its condolences Wednesday as the company waits for the results of an investigation.

The worker, Sun Danyong, 25, was a recent graduate in engineering who worked in product communications at Foxconn Technology Group.

Foxconn is a Taiwanese firm that makes many Apple products at a massive factory in the southern city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

The Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper said Sun - responsible for sending iPhone prototypes to Apple - noticed he was missing one of the 16 units he received on July 9.

He reported the missing phone on July 13 and his apartment was searched by Foxconn employees, the Chinese-language report said.

Sun jumped to his death from the 12th floor of his apartment building July 16.

"We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death," said Jill Tan, an Apple spokeswoman in Hong Kong.

"We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect."

Apple is notorious for being extremely secretive about its new products, and Foxconn also has a reputation for being tightlipped about the goods it produces for its customers, which include some of the biggest brands in the technology industry.

Foxconn executive Li Jinming said in a statement that Sun's death showed that the company needed to do a better job helping its employees with psychological pressures.

"Sun Danyong graduated from a good school. He joined the company in 2008. He had an extremely bright future. The group and I feel deep pain and regret when a young person dies like this."

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