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View Diary: Blood iphones: Foxconn employee suicides mount (44 comments)

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  •  Not Really (0+ / 0-)

    Third the high suicide rate in China in general may reflect that this is a bigger problem than just Foxconn.

    In fact I said the same thing. So my comparison isn't so faulty.

    We don't know the rate among the entire 400,000 Foxconn workers, but the reaction to 20 in that one factory says it's probably not the 60 more that would mean just the average Chinese rate.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu May 27, 2010 at 12:32:18 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It turns out that this point has already been (0+ / 0-)

      debated in the Chinese media. The media doesn't know whether these cases are all of the suicides or whether they only represent a small fraction of them. It's been established that Foxconn had used intimidation tactics to prevent newspapers from printing the stories. Some of the reporters were sued by Foxconn for hundreds of thousands of yuan with their cars seized by the court.

      I should also point out that the vast majority of suicides in China are by women. But that is certainly not the case for Foxconn. It might indicate that a comparison to the suicide rate in the general population may not be appropriate.

      •  Chinese Media (1+ / 0-)
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        Though I don't think we have a better alternative, I don't think any case "debated in the Chinese media" that indicates there's no special problem can be relied on. As the details you mention indicate.

        Also, while the top 10 suicidal countries see 3-6x as many men as women suicides,

        It is the only country in the world where more women than men take their own lives, with female suicides representing 58 percent of the total, they said.

        58:32 female:male isn't quite an "overwhelming majority" in that context. Though it is probably a primary point of investigation, since it is so anomalous. Probably a combination of sexist underreporting, reporting murders as suicides, and conditioning females to think their lives aren't worth living as much as males' are.

        There's not a lot of reliable numbers to go on here. But what we've got says a lot more about China's suicide rate overall than it does about the conditions at Foxconn.

        I also want to point out, since I don't think I have, that Foxconn is clearly running something like a 21st Century sweatshop. Which is unacceptable, and the core of what American labor is forced to compete with (along with the subsidies that unrestricted pollution give China). But again, since Foxconn employees make not just a relatively high Chinese income, but also an income in their country roughly analogous to American workers (similar share of GDP and local buying power), the unacceptable absolute numbers say a lot more about the bigger picture in China than it probably even does about the specific situation at Foxconn.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Thu May 27, 2010 at 01:10:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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