Did Chinese Xbox Workers Threaten Mass Suicide?

Did Chinese Xbox Workers Threaten Mass Suicide?

Photo by ChipperMist - http://flic.kr/p/7W8pAL

Apple production partner Foxconn has been tied to worker suicides in the past, but a new wrinkle emerged earlier this month. According to reports, a group of 300 Chinese employees building Xbox 360 game consoles threatened suicide by jumping off the roof of a factory.

According to an anti-government website, China Jasmine Revolution (relayed by Want China Times), the threat came Jan. 2 at Foxconn’s Wuhan site after the manufacturer denied the workers compensation promised earlier. The following night, the workers ended their mass suicide threat after the mayor of Wuhan got involved, reports say.

The website Kotaku.com explained that the reported suicide threat came after Foxconn told workers “they could either keep their jobs with no pay increase or quit and get compensation.” However, after most of the workers agreed to quit and receive payment, the manufacturer, which assembles products for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, as well as Apple, reportedly reneged on the compensation agreement.

One side-effect of the suicide threat was a temporary suspension of Xbox 360 production, according to the Record China site.

  • joewaylo

    I’d have quit if they denied me worker’s compensation due to work related injury that was their fault. Or a lawyer to demand a lawsuit against Foxconn. I can’t see myself taking my own life based on worker’s compensation denial.

  • Brandon Dillon

    Rights work differently over there. Logic is different as well, apparently.

  • citizen2000

    How is this different than “blood diamonds” or other products of the exploitation of workers. Those products have been boycotted and laws have been passed to prevent such exploitation. This Apple supplier has ignored worker safety and had industrial explosions, chemical exposures affecting workers health and now working conditions so bad they might cause mass suicide. Apple and other multi-national corporations are making deals with China that are killing workers.

    Chinese scientist came to the University of Michigan in the 1990’s to study industrial explosions with our faculty and they were supposed to go back to China and work on preventing such explosions. Instead they went back and worked on weapons for China’s military. Read more at http://www.china-threat.com

  • Michael Von Verrenkamp

    They should of pulled this 3 months ago when they where in the middle of supplying the christmas trading, would have worked even better. :D

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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