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Electronics Production | May 27, 2010

Suicides spiral out of control

The suicides at EMS-provider Foxconn have seemingly reached a new alarming height. Several Chinese media report on 3 more accidents in Shenzhen. But who is responsible? Foxconn? Working conditions? Media coverage? Or other things still?
Newsblog chinaSmack is writing about a Tweed reporting a possible double suicide (number 14 & 15) in Shenzhen. Others report on yet another suicide (number 13)—just hours after Terry Gou and several journalists visited the facility. The latest in a long line of news: 16th possible suicide jumper has climbed onto the C3 Building.

However, all media coverage out of China seems to have stopped and speculations are running wild. Does the fact that the suicides get so much coverage trigger them in the first place? Should we stop reporting on the incidents entirely? Foxconn probably would agree to that, as the company has already stopped responding to media requests.

Other Chinese journalists claim that the compensation paid by Foxconn to the families of the victims has caused this alarming number of incidents. Rumours have it that some of the families were paid CNY 400’000 in compensation + CNY 30’000 in yearly pension—a fortune for most of the migrant workers employed by Foxconn. If there is only a slight possibility of this being true—it would make these suicides so much more tragic. It paints a rather dim picture of our society altogether.

Labour and human rights watch groups blame the working conditions and poor social network provided for these migrant workers as main reason for these tragic events.

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