June 03, 2010
Foxconn Suicides Lead to Scrutiny of Supply Chain Management
by Robert Kropp
Contract manufacturer for such electronics companies as Apple and HP faces questions about its
labor practices in the aftermath of suicides by workers.
Since January, at least ten employees of Foxconn, the giant contract electronics manufacturer whose
facility in Longhua, China employs some 300,000 workers, have committed suicide, most of them by
jumping from the roof of the four-story dormitories in which they lived. Foxconn manufactures
products for such US-based computer companies as HP, Dell, and Apple.
Statistically, the number of suicides at Foxconn is not unusual for young people in
China, although the frequency of suicides this year is alarming. An estimated 90% of Foxconn’s
workers, who typically work 12-hour shifts and share living quarters with up to ten co-workers, are
between 18 and 24 years old.