Protest at Chinese iPad maker Foxconn after 11th suicide attempt this year

Protestors made traditional Chinese funeral offerings to the dead at the headquarters of Foxconn, the manufacturer of Apple’s iPad, after the 11th suicide attempt at the company’s factories so far this year

Protestors from SACOM (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour) burn effigies of Apple products during a demonstration near the offices of Foxconn in Hong Kong over the deaths of 11 workers. Photo: Getty

By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
Published: 3:53PM BST 25 May 2010

A recruiter from Foxconn, where 11 Chinese workers have died in the past year, talks to job applicants outside the factory in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province. Foxconn Photo: AP

Li Hai, a 19-year-old man from the central province of Hunan, fell to his death from the roof of a dormitory building at Foxconn‘s Longhua factory on Tuesday morning, leaving the world’s largest electronics manufacturer in crisis.

A spate of recent suicides at Foxconn has highlighted the concerns over working conditions inside the giant Longhua factory, where 300,000 workers assemble goods for clients including Apple, Sony, Nintendo, Dell and Nokia. The deaths comes as Apple prepares to launch the iPad in the UK at the end of this week. Yesterday, Apple declined to comment on the situation.

The Longhua factory is the biggest in the world and is responsible for over 20pc of the annual exports emerging from Shenzhen, the one-time fishing village that has become one of the capitals of the world’s manufacturing industry.

In the lobby of Foxconn’s headquarters in Hong Kong, a group of around two dozen protestors laid mannequins to rest and conducted funeral rites. “We are staging the protest because of the high death rate [at Foxconn], with an abnormal number of workers committing suicide in the past five months,” said Debby Chan, a spokesman for the Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour group. Continue reading