Family Of Dead Chinese Worker Awarded Compensation: $44,000 And a MacBook


Former Foxconn employee Sun Danyong, who apparently committed suicide after losing an iPhone protoype.

The family of the Foxconn employee who reportedly committed suicide over a lost iPhone prototype has been compensated for his death, even though the company suspects him of industrial espionage, the New York Times reports.

The family of Sun Danyong, 25, received 300,000 renminbi, or more than $44,000, and his girlfriend got a new Apple laptop.

However, Foxconn, which makes iPods and iPhones under contract to Apple, says the employee had a history of suspiciously “losing” products, suggesting he might be involved in industrial espionage.

“The case also underscores the challenges that global companies face in trying to safeguard their designs and intellectual property in the hotly contested smartphone market, particularly here in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, an electronics manufacturing center known for piracy and counterfeiting,” the Times says.

On July 16, Danyong apparently leaped to his death from the 12th floor of an dormitory building on Foxconn’s giant factory campus. Sun was being investigated by Foxconn security after allegedly losing an iPhone prototype he was supposed to mail to Apple in California.

He failed to report the prototype missing for three days, the company says, and his explanation “did not seem credible and that he had had problems before.”

“Several times he had some products missing, then he got them back,” the company told the Times. “We don’t know who took the product, but it was at his stop.”

The company says his death was a suicide. Reports suggest Sun was beaten and “humiliated” by Foxconn security investigating the lost prototype. The company has suspended a security guard pending a police investigation.

The Times‘ reporter, David Barboza, spoke to the company and the employee’s family, and was given a partial tour of the plant. However, he didn’t get many answers.

The family is puzzled by his death, saying he was honest and would never steal prototype products.

His girlfriend posted his last text message to her shortly before he died.

“Dear, I’m sorry. Go back home tomorrow,” he wrote. “I ran into some problems. Don’t tell my family. Don’t contact me. I’m begging you for the first time. Please do it! I’m sorry.”

The family suggests he committed suicide as a form of revenge on the company for  mistreating him. “He was extremely angry at Foxconn,” his brother said. “They humiliated him and he wanted to resist the company, and planned to do something big.”


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