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Foxconn is giving the parents of its worker who commited suicide after the company harassed him a payoff, in hopes of quieting the matter.  (Source: PSD Blog)
Company hopes that payment will lay matter to rest

Apple and its Chinese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn made headlines when an employee Danyong Sun committed suicide.  The circumstances were anything but ordinary.  Mr. Sun had been given a set of never-before-seen iPhone fourth generation prototypes to deliver for testing.  He lost one of these prototypes and was subsequently the victim of a burglary and assault, reportedly by his employer's security division.  He then committed suicide.

Following initial statements by Foxconn and Apple, new details have emerged.  Foxconn has announced that it will pay off the family of Mr. Sun in hopes of laying the matter quietly to rest.  It has agreed to pay his parents a lump sum of $52,000 and a yearly payment of $4,400 for the rest of their lives.

The government is still investigating the incident.  Apple says it will wait until that investigation finishes before it takes action.  The main subject of the investigations is Mr. Gun Qinmin a security supervisor.  Mr. Qinmin insists that he's innocent, though he admits to sending people to search Mr. Sun's office.

The average salary of a worker in one of China's cities was 5,000 yuan ($3,560 USD) in 2007

The incident continues to highlight both Apple's veil of secrecy about its products and the pressures that young engineers in China face.  Officials with both Chinese companies and government agencies have a history of taking severe tactics at times to stomp out improper behavior.  China publicly executed its former food and drug administration head in 2007 when he was found guilty of taking bribes.

Despite the potential dangers associated with manufacturing products in China, most major electronics manufacturers build their products in China due to the lower cost of skilled labor.  Product design and testing is also increasingly being sourced to China.

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RE: $52,000
By The0ne on 7/28/2009 6:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
An operator makes about 700-1000RMB per month. A superivisor makes about 1500/month. An engineer makes about 4000/month. A project manager makes about 6000-8000 per month. Its not much considering the cost of eating out is about the same in US for a decent restaurant. Last I check, Mcdonalds and KFC were almost the same price as here in the US, with portions being smaller of course. For example, their KFC drumstick is equivalent to the size of the drumstick on the chicken wing here :P I thought it was pretty funny hahaha

However, their cost of living is substantially cheaper than US. I mean really cheap. A crappy apartment can go for a few hundred RMB and a really nice one for about 2000. this 2000RMB apartment that our China project manager has is like a medium class condo...not your $2000 apartment. Problem is no one, I mean absolutely no one, takes care of the complex and in a few years the whole freaking building would be rusty, dirty and in dire need of repairs.

Still, things don't quite add up and it's pretty amazing how people still are able to survive there with the pay they get.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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