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One life lost only for a missing iPhone, why?
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15:21, July 23, 2009

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【Event Retrospect】

A 25-year-old employee of a leading Taiwanese electronics manufacturer allegedly committed suicide after he was blamed for the disappearance of a sample iPhone mobile phone.

Sun Danyong was suspected of stealing a model of the popular Apple mobile phone earlier this month.


The 4th generation of iPhone prototype

【Apple, Foxconn Comment on Worker's Death】

"We are saddened by the tragic loss of a young employee and we are awaiting the results of the investigation into his death," Apple said in a statement released in the United States on Tuesday, declining further comment.

"The company has noticed there has been much detailed discussion on the Internet and welcomes public discussion on how to help Foxconn's management where it is lacking," Foxconn said in a statement. "We will scrutinize those places ... and strengthen our assistance to young employees," it added.


【From Sun's former classmate】

A person who claimed to be Sun's former classmate said in a widespread Internet article that Sun was responsible for shipping 16 iPhone prototypes to Apple. One prototype was missing and Sun was suspected of leaking company secrets.

Sun was put into illegal custody and his apartment raided by the company investigation team headed by Gu. He was also beaten during the company investigation, the article said.


Message sent by Sun Danyong to his girlfriend and classmate.

【Ruthless Enterprise Culture Questioned】

●The violence of capitalism" and "the wolfish nature of Chinese companies" have been cited by newspapers such as Hangzhou-based Today's Morning as contributing to Sun's suicide.

●"The death of the young man due to the loss of a phone reflects the dark side of the corporate profit-seeking process. Employees, who are in disadvantageous positions, can hardly stand against management, or protect their dignity, in such a profit-oriented corporate culture," read an opinion piece titled Workers' Rights Lost in the World's Factory published in Xi'an-based Chinese Business View.

●A commentary on china.com.cn noted that aggressiveness could well maintain the competitiveness and efficiency of companies in their initial stages.
"However, it cannot function as the sole theme of management's strategy when market share increases and enterprises grow," the post said. "Employees can hardly develop a sense of belonging and share the values coming from this corporate culture."


【How about Your Opinion?】

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By People's Daily Online

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