Updates on the iPhone-contractor suicide

Eric Risberg/AP/File
Customers get assistance purchasing the new Apple iPhone 3G S at an Apple store in San Francisco on Friday, the first day the phone was available.

Hon Hai, Apple's contract-manufacturer that's under fire after one of its employees killed himself, has suspended one of its security officials, according to Bloomberg.

The late engineer, which worked for Hon Hai subsitiary Foxconn, lost one of 16 next-generation iPhone prototypes that he was supposed to ship to Apple. After reportedly being beaten and having his home broken into, the 25-year-old jumped out of his 12th-story apartment.

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that the suspended security worker, "identified only by the surname 'Gu,' has been turned over to Chinese authorities."

Hon Hai, the world's largest contract-manufacturer of electronics, as come under sharp criticism, particularly for its strict, hierarchical management style. Acknowledging its detractors, the company accepted some of the blame for the suicide, saying that the death, "no matter what, to a certain extent reflects the inadequacy of our internal management."

In its statement, the company addressed the alleged beating by stressing that it did not ask or condone anyone to break the law.

This is not Hon Hai's first scandal in relation to Apple. The Wall Street Journal reports that "in August 2006, Hon Hai sued two Chinese journalists in Shenzhen for reporting workers assembling iPods in its Shenzhen factory were forced to work overtime. It denied the accusation, but withdrew the case weeks later as public pressure against it mounted."


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