Western Exposure

Apple to blame in Chinese factory worker’s suicide?

By July 29, 2009March 19th, 2015No Comments

That’s the question examined in an excellent piece of journalism by the Los Angeles Times this morning. It’s a perfect example of the value of  “boots on the ground” committing journalism for US audiences from foreign countries. In this case, how a West coast megacorp may bear responsibility for human rights abuses in China.

The basic facts reported are this: Sun Danyong, an employee at a mainland China factory that manufacturers iPhones, leaped to his death; Chinese authorities are investigating whether a supervisor allegedly drove him to kill himself.

The details are frightening: the allegation that the disappearance of a single iPhone prototype led Sun to be detained, interrogated and beaten by factory security; the likelihood that such behavior would be motivated by Cupertino, Calif-based Apple’s penchant for secrecy; allegations that such actions aren’t unusual at Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that operates the factory.

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