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Foxconn: "Heavy suspicions on suicide employee"

Sorry for the suicide and the payment of about 30 thousand euros to the family, but the employee who killed himself after being accused for the disappearance of an iPhone prototype would not have been completely extraneous to the stealing of the Apple device. This is Foxconn's position which adds further elements of controversy to an already unclear situation.

The Chinese company at the center of controversy over the death of the young Sun Danyong, who threw himself from the top of the building where he resided after being, so we read on several Internet sites, 'mistreated and humiliated' as a result of the iPhone's abduction, speaks for the first time of the events, expressing his position in an interview with the New York Times. James Lee, general manager of Chinese operations at Foxconn (a subsidiary of Taiwanese Hon Hai), reported the facts to the newspaper that the events would unfold differently from how they were told. In the first place, none of the employees would be mistreated in the factories in Shenzhen where iPhones are made (among many products by Apple and competitors by Cupertino). To prove it Lee led the reporter around the plants (a huge complex where up to 300 thousand people work) even if he could not show him the actual assembly lines for reasons of secrecy. Lee then spoke of the victim, stating that during his work in the logistics department he repeatedly 'lost' prototypes which later reappeared. The missing iPhone would therefore not have been the first device lost by the victim: 'We do not know – says Lee yet – who took the iPhone; the only thing sure he was the last person authorized to have had it in his hands was him ".

The last person, however, to see Danyong alive was, according to the Sunday Daily, a Chinese newspaper, Gu Qinming, one of Foxconn's security officers; Quinming was also the one who allegedly segregated and humiliated him according to what the suicide wrote in an email to his family. Quinming, currently detained by the police, admitted that he suspected Danyong was lying but denied having beaten him. The only physical contact would have occurred in the form of a blow on the shoulder, spiced up with a rebuke ('be man …'), when the interrogated person would have blamed the blame on another employee.

The New York Times learned from relatives, a family of humble origins who would receive 44 thousand dollars (just under 31 thousand euros) and an Apple computer in compensation for the death of their loved one, who in fact Danyong was very depressed and mortified by what happened . He would have talked about the matter with some friends threatening a 'sensational act'. In an SMS, the fiancée allegedly expressed his apologies for something he was about to do, asking her to try to contact him and go home, pointing to 'problems not to report to the family'. The Times reporter would later be stuck in an attempt to learn more from some people in Foxconn's uniform who physically threatened his interpreter, forcing him to suspend the series of questions.

The story, however you look at it, poses many questions, is framed in a very complex context where western companies cannot help using Chinese partners capable of delivering products with a very high ratio between costs and quality, but at the same time they must try to defend their intellectual properties from the thousands of local cloners who are able to produce in a few weeks perfectly identical products, at least externally and in basic functions, to the original ones. A very difficult battle given the hundreds of thousands of people involved in the production process. Even if nobody has explicitly expressed it, Danyong would have been suspected of being a sort of "mole" of some company interested in producing iPhone clones and as such ended up victim of a system where contractors cannot afford to disappoint the customers and when this happens they need to find the culprits, real or presumed, of mistakes to punish them in an exemplary way, for example for other employees.