Foxconn Employe Commits Suicide Over Lost iPhone Prototype
In a terribly tragic turn of events, a Foxconn employee has committed suicide after losing a prototype of Apple’s 4th generation iPhone.
A 25-year old employee, Sun Danyong, was tasked with shipping prototypes of Apple’s iPhone from Foxconn’s manufacturing plant to Cupertino. However, one went missing and when officials found out, they used brutal interrogation techniques and physical intimidation which supposedly drove the young worker to jump out his 12th story apartment window. Foxconn has since suspended the officials involved without pay and expressed remorse for what has happened but the case is now being treated as murder
On Thursday, July 9th, Sun got 16 prototype phones from the assembly line at a local Foxconn factory. At some point in the next few days, he discovered that one of the phones was missing. He suspected that it had been left at the factory, but couldn’t find it. On Monday, July 13, he reported the missing phone to his boss. Then, that Wednesday, three Foxconn employees searched his apartment—illegally, according to Chinese law. Accusations are flying that Sun was detained and physically abused during the investigation, although this has not been substantiated (possible evidence: there’s this somewhat garbled and potentially faked instant message exchange from Sun shortly before his death).
What is known: On Thursday—a little after 3 a.m. according to surveillance videos in the apartment building—he jumped out of a window in his apartment building to his death.
This a very high profile case where both parties have much to lose besides a possible ethics investigation in to the treatment of employees at Foxconn. While Apple may have lost a prototype of an upcoming iPhone model, Foxconn risks losing Apple’s contract due to a possible breach of secrecy maintained by the Cupertino based company. The repercussions could be the loss of billions of dollars worth of contracts from Apple but its sad that money was chosen of human respect.
Apple has also spoken briefly about the terrible incident:
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told CNET on Tuesday. “We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect.”