Chinese Press Says Foxconn Never Hurt Employee.

Posted: Jul 24 2009, 12:35pm CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 3:29pm CDT , in Apple


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The case of Sun Danyong, the Foxconn employee who committed suicide after losing a prototype 4th generation iPhone, has yet another twist. Initially, Foxconn security was suspected of torturing Danyong in order to find out what happened to the missing mobile. One of their security people was even suspended due to the suspicions.

Now a reporter from the Southern Daily, a Chinese newspaper, claims that there was no torture in the interrogation sessions. The reporter claims to have watched footage of two of the sessions, and that he saw no evidence of abuse. Not everyone is convinced yet that Foxconn had nothing to do with the suicide, though. We don't know if the tapes the reporter saw were edited, or if there were more sessions than the two he watched.

The security worker who handled the interrogation, one Gu Qinming, stated in an interview that Sun told them to search his house as a way to allay their suspicions. This differs from the story that Sun told his friends. He stated that the company broke into and searched his home without consent and tortured him to try and get the information.

We may never know exactly where the truth lies. Labor laws in China are nothing like they are over here, and a tremendous amount is riding on Foxconn's ability to keep Apple's secrets to themselves. While Apple employees who leak information risk only the loss of their jobs, Foxconn employees risk losing their company a contract worth billions of dollars and hundreds of jobs. The burden is just a little higher on them.

That's why I have no trouble believing that it is very possible Sun was tortured before his death. Whether he was actually physically tortured or not means little at this point. The question we need to ask ourselves is how much a factor Apple's stringent secrecy played in this tragedy. No company in the tech world guards their secrets as closely as Apple, and we've seen now how dangerous keeping those secrets can prove. Maybe it's time for Cupertino to reconsider some things.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
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