Tag Archive for ‘China’

The Truth About Foxconn Suicides ➝

Patrick Mattimore reporting for China’s People’s Daily Online:

Taiwanese-owned Foxconn has had seven suicides this year. That sounds like a lot, but the firm has an estimated 800,000 workers, more than 300,000 of them at a single plant in Shenzhen.

Although exact figures are hard to come by, even the most conservative estimate for China’s suicide rate is 14 per 100,000 per year (World Health Organization). In other words, Foxconn’s suicide epidemic is actually lower than China’s national average of suicides.

I’ve been passing over the whole Foxconn suicide story mostly because it is a touchy subject. But, I’ve also avoided it because most of what I’ve read about it has been written with an anti-Apple slant. Many of them feeling more like Apple hit pieces than anything else.

I certainly don’t want to downplay suicide, but you can’t deny the fact that Foxconn’s suicide rate is much lower than China’s as a whole. The conversation we should be having is about how we can prevent suicides, not about how we can prevent suicides at Foxconn.

Google Will No Longer Censor Search Results in China ➝

Google is taking a strong stand against censorship. I’m glad that a large company is finally willing to cease operations in China if they are not able to legally run their business the way they’d like to.

Google senior vice president David Drummond:

We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.

He also reveals that there was a large-scale attack that attempted to gain access to Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights advocates. Drummond doesn’t come right out and say it but implies that the attack was the work of the Chinese government.

I hope that other search engines and web companies decide to follow Google’s lead.