Why do Foxconn employees keep jumping off buildings?

| May 12th, 2010


May 6, another Foxconn worker leaped to his death, and this is jump number 7 since January, another suicide, again jumping off a building, again at Foxconn.  People call it the “7 consecutive jumps”. I also recall writing about an incident last July, a Chinese worker at Foxconn committed suicide after iPhone prototype went missing. Everyone wants to know why so many Foxconn workers are jumping to their death, 7 of them just this year? What was behind the incidents? Is it coincidence or inevitable? In response to people’s concerns, recently CCTV “News 1+1” reporter conducted an investigation on this.

Lu Xin, 24 years old, joined Foxconn in August 2009. In the company newcomers’ talent contest, the new college grad won 2nd place. But on May 6 morning, this young man who loved music, once was even a contestant on the “Super Boy” show chose to leap off the building and ended his young life.

Zeng Hongling (Lu Xin’s college classmate) recalled, “He said he was going to look at the scenery and right after he finished his sentence, he quickly slide open the window and jumped onto the balcony, then jumped off from the balcony. He never hesitated. I tried to grab him, but only pulled his clothes on his left arm, he threw my hand off.”

Zeng Hongling felt guilty because he couldn’t grab on to Lu, he was Lu’s college classmate and joined Foxcoon together with him after graduating. Ever since May 1, Zeng noticed that Lu was not in a good mental state.  He often said someone was following him and even trying to kill him. He also expressed thoughts of going back to his home town in Hunan Province.

Zeng Hongling, “Every time when he got off the car, he went looking for the patrol police, he said that someone people want to kill him and want to harm him.”

Lu registered a blog in February, it recorded his dreams of pursuing music. In his last post on March 4, Lu Xin wrote, “If I really could, I would write music every day. I don’t have money, don’t have music hardware equipment, even don’t want to spend money on a computer, even more, cannot find a record company, youth flies away. 24 years old, I can still do it? I will devote, at least this year I am going to pursue.”

Lu’s death left people with regrets, and also a little puzzled, in fact this is the number 7 Foxconn worker jumping-off-building-suicide incident coming into 2010.

Here is the rundown:

January 23, 2010, at 4 pm, 19 year old Foxconn employee Ma Xiangqian died. The Police investigation said it was a high-fall death.

March 17, 2010, in Foxconn Longhua park district, a new female employee jumped from the 3rd floor dormitory, was injured after the fall.

March 29, 2010, in Longhua factory district, a male worker fell from the dormitory building, died on the spot, 23 years of age.

April 6, 2010, 18 year old female worker Rao jumped from Misson Hills C8 female dormitory building, currently still hospitalized.

April 7, 2010, at Mission Hills outside factory dormitory, a female employ named Ning fell to her death at age 18.

April 7, 2010, Mission Hills Cheung Kok Estate, Foxconn male employee committed suicide and died at age 22.

May 6, 2010, Longhua factory district male worker Lu Xin jumped off a 6 floor balcony and died at age 24.

According to Foxconn, the similarities of these suicide incidents are, the deceased are aged between 18 and 23, and they are all newly recruits of Foxconn.

In an interview, Foxconn spokesman Liu Kun admitted that the management has loopholes, but facing the huge number of 420,000 employees in Shenzhen, and as for why the spate of such incidents; how to avoid similar incidents from occurring, he also seemed to be helpless.

Liu Kun:

Do we really have preventions in place? Can we really touch 420,000 people’s heart? As a business, we are not capable of doing this. And I don’t know what reason will cause the eighth jump.


After the incident on May 6, some psychological experts were invited to Shenzhen Foxconn, including the Deputy Director of Qinghua University, Department of Psychology of Conflict Fan Fumin.

Director Fan, we know that Lu Xin was finally determined to have mental issues, but the company only sent his friend to accompany him, why was he not directly sent to the hospital?

Fan Fumin:

This is a good question. The company has its difficulties. Logically speaking, people with mental disorders should be taken to the hospital, but who has the right to do so? In general, it requires the consent of the family. Because we don’t have such law, generally only the police have the rights, the company cannot force to send him to the hospital.


I understand. I also have a question for you, because we know this is already the 7th incident since this year. So many building jumping suicides in such short time, from a scientific principle point of view, is the rate of occurrence considered high?

Fan Fumin:

Statistics from the World health Organization is based on suicide rate of per 100,000. Currently China’s suicide rate is about, according to health Ministry statistics, around 16 per 100,000.


Is this in one year?

Fan Fumin:

Yes, after we went to Foxconn, we feel it is a very large company with over 400,000 people.


You think 400,000 people company has…

Fan Fumin:

2 to 3 out of 100,000, we also compiled statistics for college students, about 2 to 3 out of 100,000.


Do you think this is low or within the range?

Fan Fumin:

Compare to China’s national suicide rate, should be low.

Host: OK

Fan Fumin:

But age 15 to 34, from the statists suicide is the main cause of death.


Ok, thank you. Yiansong, directory Fan thinks the suicide rate is in the normal range, what do you think?

Bai Yiansong:

I think this issue has two levels, first as a business, Foxconn has its difficulties, one it’s a factory, the factory district where Lu Xin committed suicide has 30,000 people, including Shenzhen, it has over 40,000 people, like a sizable city. But it is not equivalent to a city, because in a big city, there are families, the kind of psychological comfort, affection and effective observations between family members and so on. In a city formed by families is actually easier, but in here is an obviously a factory district. Children between 18 – 23 years old, born after 80s and 90s are 80% of the entire population, over 300,000, this is a very scary figure.

Second, post 80s and 90s new generation working in a foreign place, their resilience and ability to endure hardship is weaker than the previous generation. Also this generation’s self esteem is more fragile, they feel more pressured and they have more dreams. Not just taking care of the family, they have their own dreams, often easily pressured in this tin-can like factory district. Dreams disappear, they easily become desperate, it is truly difficult, but this is only one aspect.


You said the company has difficulties, what are their responsibilities?

Bai Yiansong:

Yes, I want to say the other side of the coin, as Foxconn’s spokesman said, “Facing Lu’s suicide, this time we tried our best.” First I admit they have tried this time. Because Lu Xin had illusions including someone tries to kill him, they requested psychological specialist and also his friend to accompany him. They also brought his parents from far away to Shenzhen. His parents were 4 hours away from Shenzhen before he committed suicide. But I feel at least there are two points we would like to question.

First, I think actually telling Lu in advance that his parents are coming was not necessarily a good choice. Because he was already delusional, there has been a lot of pressure and frustration that he was very afraid of meeting his parents, so called he has no face to see them. Parents are coming may became a catalyst and generated more pressure.

Second, I think everyone will understand once i say it. Before this, there have been six other jumping incidents, this time he and the two people who accompanied him were arranged to stay on the sixth floor. Even the spokesperson said, “Only if the psychological experts gave us more detailed guidance, we would not have put him on the sixth floor.” Even if it was first floor or the basement, this tragedy will at least be delayed. Therefore I think this is merely a representation of the responsibility, there are more responsibilities behind.


The reporter then interviewed many Foxconn job seekers and employees. Job seekers came here because they heard that the compensation is decent here and Foxconn had a good reputation. But many employees reveled that Foxconn has many management issues. “I can only say that Foxconn provided employee handbooks and their management requirements, they are very good. However the lower level is a mess, lower level management is a mess.” Female worker Ma Liqun said, “Our level employees work hard, everyday working like machines, you can say that we are trained to become machines. Another thing is the lower level leaders do not respect our self-esteem. Sometimes, they yell at us, being yelled at is normal.”

Another employee Liu Lan said, “In an ordinary workshop in Foxconn, to complete a circuit board requires dozens of procedures, needs every workers to be accurate to the seconds. The atmosphere has a strong emphasis on efficiency and execution. For example, posters on the walls that say “Value efficiency, every minute every second!” can be seen everywhere.”


But when starting to work here, if experiencing psychological problems, they can get help from newly formed Employees Care Center.

Liu Shen:

There is a telephone hotline, 785785, that is please help me please help me (phonetically in Chinese). When someone calls in, we will contact various sectors. Since the recent building jumping incidents, we already effectively intervened over 20 possible tragedies.

Bai Yangsong:

First Foxxcon, as a one of the fortune 500 companies, I think it is easy to condemn, but also hope that Foxconn will make a standard for other companies when facing similar problems and make a clear path.

I think first, it is too big, this plant has more than 300,000 people, and Shenzhen over 400,000. A good company is not because it is big, but if it can let people to be closer. For example, in the 7 suicide incidents, many of them, in their dorms, 8 people shared a room. But because living is arranged according to working distance, the people in the same dorm still do not know their phone numbers after over a year, never contacted them. So when they had issues, including Lu Xin, they first went to the classmate. So how to be small in a big company, feel warmth in a smaller place, not letting everything feel hopeless amount 300,000 people. You have to know Lu Xin is not an ordinary migrant worker, he graduated from college to become a leader here, however there are over thousands of leaders at Foxconn, think about the pressure.

Second is to change someone’s thinking. We can no longer treat this generation like the older generation of migrant workers and have high expectation of their toughness and patience. This is a new group, post 80s and 90s are not the same as before.

I also have a suggestion, if you want to cruelly analyze the suicide rate to be not so high compare to 400,000 people, but the problem is there are 6 suicides since March. Foxconn should really work on preventions. Because this kind of suicide has a certain tendency of imitation, when seeing other people jumping, during one’s painful time, he/she may also choose this method. Intervene early, I think is good for preventing it from spreading. Of course, I very much hope Foxconn will make a gesture.


Companies like Foxconn is labor-intensive, and the future labor cost may be increasing, profit margin will become smaller and smaller. Maybe when facing this issue in the future it must consider.

Bai Yangsong:

I think not just Foxconn, China’s future development are facing a new game, that is the cost is getting bigger, not only the cost of wages, but new costs, cost of psychological needs, cost of harmony, cost of communication with the employees. I feel any business in the future when calculating the cost must consider these elements. I think China’s reform is at a point facing a new challenge, that is before we attracted a steady stream of people, and we do not have to consider their benefits, mental states and recreations, but now we have to.

As I am writing this, jump number 8 happened today, May 11, a Foxconn female employee jumped off 8th floor of a building to her death…

25 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. GuoBao says:

    420.000 employees?? I must have misread that somehow. But if that is true 6 suicides in half a year doesn’t seem statistically unreasonable.

    • John says:

      7 people working for the same company jump off the same building all since January and you don’t see a bizarre pattern? Open your eyes, dude.

      • GuoBao says:

        Clearly says it wasn’t the same building. Secondly China has a much higher suicide rate than the official numbers. Thirdly unfortunately just like the pre-school knife attacks incidents like these tend to encourage certain already mentally unbalanced individuals to copy it. Bizarre pattern, sure I guess one could see it that way but I don’t know what you are fishing for,, some kind of conspiracy?

        • b-real says:

          ok the only reason why this is news is because of the company. People commit suicide all the time. hell I lost 2 last year to suicide. They think this is the answer to their problem, and in some ways it is.

  2. TalitaBeatriz Matthiesen says:

    It´s too much pressure to wotk,to show results.
    People are way from their families,and after work are too tired
    They still have the housekeeping to do in their homes so, theres little time left to pursue a social life and make friends.
    In a factory with 420.000 employees might be very easy to feel unworth and insignificant.

  3. Charlotte says:

    I can’t believe the police failed to find out the truth behind these incidents! Must be some dark sides of this company behind these.

  4. Jacob says:

    I have to say, the Taiwan Companies are always very depressing to work, it’s like hell.

  5. Crystal says:

    This is one of the cases when statisticians have to be called and make their calculations, and then say if the number of suicides is comparable to the average or not.
    Cause it could be just a tragetted inflation by media when every suicide in Foxconn is going into headlines.
    Anyway, the effect of reading such reports is huge – it creates a grave picture and indeed can trigger the unstable persons to act in a similar way.

  6. Given that Foxcomm is doing work with Apple – who has a bad reputation for treating a lot of people – including it’s customers – I am not terribly surprised at this article:


    It is a wonder that the CCP allows businesses in P.R. China to deal with a “cult” – but when said cult is spending millions of dollars…

  7. Pigeons says:

    Electronics Group in fact a lot of suicide cases with a smuggled from the United States military super lie detector, which can be used as weapons, laser, ultrasonic,The instrument can be remotely detected in human psychology Privacy invisible, brain attack with electromagnetic waves, sound waves, or laser with the target sound signals to control who can control some of the people to commit a crime, suicide, or to use ultrasound to create many goals were being hunted down, track scenes to achieve a false target of the purpose of intimidation, harassment, mental apparatus finally the total collapse of the spirit, suicide, mental disorders hungry, the electronic equipment for the detection of terrorists for the U.S. study, in the 70’s, 80’s will have a considerable technology,In today’s already remote detection of psychological privacy, harassment ultrasonic wave control is a kind of trump card of electronic weapon, but it does not have to be used in terrorist body, but the killing of people flow to the hands of terrorist forces, terrorist activities, electromagnetic weapons and the victims of the global agenda, I am a Taiwanese electronics group in a factory owned by his instrument sound electronic harassment victims of the past 5 years

  8. Pigeons says:

    Such electronic equipment that people can hear the sound, the former Marine who died was hunted down and track is in fact the victims were deceived by the ultrasonic device, they deliberately use the voices around the ultrasonic changes in the victim have heard the voice of the content is to be changed, but outsiders can not hear, so they say being hunted down, while others no one knew or could understand, so it misunderstood the spirit of the disorders and, ultimately, the police are all friends can not help the situation, they are jealous of psychological terror fear in despair to commit suicide, this time from the beginning of this case have been growing in China, Guangzhou GAVIN hold the bridge, the mysterious suicide of a young girl, were suspected of the train Then kill the mysterious suicide of young jumping in with Foxconn Electronics suicide many similar cases, including those occurring outside the back with a background in the Electronics Group of Taiwan has a relationship, we can see, a terrorist organization in Taiwan China has been through the industrial control and electromagnetic weapons using ordinary citizens suffer human persecution.

  9. Tom says:

    As I am reading this, jump number 11 happened yesterday!!!!

  10. Pigeons says:

    5th generation of military laser polygraph device, they now have is called a mystery – brain control of weapons, although officials have never acknowledged this instrument, but in practice around the world, civil society have been the phenomenon of abuse of this device, Using ultrasound to harass the people, the people forced to commit suicide or be controlled by frequent bizarre incident, I hope you will publicize electromagnetic weapons and military polygraph to what today’s advanced level of understanding of equipment to prevent electronic devices against innocent people – the electromagnetic wave Weapons Victims Alliance

  11. phd35 says:

    Actually, France Telecom/Orange (ex-public telecom operator in France) has to face the same kind of phenomenon since 2 years. It appears that the switch from public to private status with the introduction of new managerial practice had a very bad effect on the mental health of some employees, especially the olders one who had only experienced public company management during their career before the company became private.
    However,Foxconn use the same defense than the french company did when media started to ask questions : “the number is not higher than on the average population”. I will discuss this point right after but this answer ignore the fact that the number of suicide is sharply increasing on this company, at least faster than the average on the country.

    Moreover, i am not sure that 7 about 400 000 is not significant since comparison here is done between average chinese population and foxconn employee. But it appears that foxconn employee who commited suicide were not “average chinese” since they were young and several of them had a good academic background.

    A last important point is to determine which of those suicides are related to the work environment (management method etc…) and which are not. Some of those people might have commited suicide even in other companies, but some might not have.

  12. Miguel says:

    I Just heard the recent news from TV! 15 deaths in total!
    We should call sherlock holmes to solve this case. Some people say Foxconn can open a factory in hell because so many people are dead.

  13. Pigeons says:

    Interpol should be required to intervene,Hope that the U.S. propaganda about hungry friends over,In fact, many people do not commit suicide,They were ultrasonic harassment, intimidation, military laser polygraph,Their mental anguish and terror of suicide,Chinese police on the wave of such killings have never accept too high-tech equipment,Really do not hide,I am also certain to be associated with Foxconn Electronics Inc. “Taiwan and”,The use of such electronic equipment 5 years acoustic harassment victims, but the Chinese Government has always been the lack of concern, regret

  14. Pigeons says:


  15. Pigeons says:

    军用激光测谎仪器的电子跟踪与骚扰技术以相当纯熟,在中国一出现多年,最初的研究成果是美国和苏联时期,60年代就有人在中国对人进行电子折磨,并且有特工在民间出现有此仪器发出一束白光,过后人即被控制,这么多年,早就达到了 远程监视,全球电子跟踪技术,只是让公众纳闷的事情是如此高科技在当今没有对付恐怖组织,却被人利用做着恐怖活动,利用超声波一将无数的人类逼死,逼疯,并且利用激光讯号电磁波控制人类,操控人类,这是全人类的恐怖

  16. Pigeons says:

    Brain wave attack controller technology has spread, people can suddenly died, suddenly people were completely controlled, sudden mental disorders, there are ultrasonic harassment suicide, these cases to occur in the world.

  17. crat says:

    They’d rather commit suicide than be slaves, which is what they are. If you spend your whole life working at something you dislike and sleeping, you’re a slave.

  18. nick says:

    THE SECRET GOVERNMENT BECOME THE PREDATORS if they use electronic harrassment of any kind on certain suspicious individuals or the mentally ill whom they think may be a possible threat or do this as a form of mental torture for a purpose to have them committed into a mental hospital, but ironically it is the secret government or agent who becomes the PEDRATOR and the suspicious undividual or mentally ill the VICTIM. In fact any person who uses illegal surveilance,tracking or electronic harrassment on others ARE THE FIRST KINDS OF PEOPLE that cannot be trusted and should also be under surveilance and tracked, including all their surveilance and tracking activities recorded to prove if they are using this technology for an evil purpose. MAKE THIS INTO LAW!!!!!!!!!

  19. nick says:

    THE SECRET GOVERNMENT OR SECRET POLICE BECOME THE PREDATORS if they use electronic harrassment of any kind on certain suspicious individuals or the mentally ill whom they think may be a possible threat or do this as a form of mental torture or stalking for a purpose to have them committed into a mental hospital, but ironically it is the secret government,agent or police who become the PEDRATORS and the suspicious undividual or mentally ill the VICTIMS. In fact any person who uses illegal surveilance, tracking or electronic harrassment on others ARE THE FIRST KINDS OF PEOPLE that cannot be trusted and should also be under surveilance and tracked, including all their surveilance and tracking activities recorded to prove if they are using this technology for an evil purpose. MAKE THIS INTO LAW!!!!!!!!!

  20. nick says:

    THE SECRET GOVERNMENT OR SECRET POLICE BECOME THE PREDATORS if they use electronic harrassment of any kind on certain suspicious individuals or the mentally ill whom they think may be a possible threat or do this as a form of mental torture or stalking for a purpose to have them committed into a mental hospital, but ironically it is the secret government,agent or police who become the PREDATORS and the suspicious individual or mentally ill the VICTIMS. In fact any person who uses illegal surveilance, tracking or electronic harrassment on others ARE THE FIRST KINDS OF PEOPLE that cannot be trusted and should also be under surveilance and tracked, including all their surveilance and tracking activities recorded to prove if they are using this technology for an evil purpose. MAKE THIS INTO LAW!!!!!!!!!

  21. cfc says:

    I believe that Chinese culture is such that most Chinese find it shameful or a no no to disclose their fears or inner emotional landscape.

  22. Juan Carlos Vallejos says:

    胡安卡洛斯为例VALLEJOS的 – 机器人化

    反人类罪 – 在委内瑞拉的酷刑




    反人类酷刑的罪行 – 在委内瑞拉的酷刑
    这一信息,提出治疗,即使当您的文件未经作者:5 PASIENTES,DESIDIO异丙酚治疗中的应用,产生副作用的许可的情况下,全球和症状的统计及死亡,剂量不正确的,错误的治疗时间,治疗方法,采用电SHOK人员建议大学有关卡拉沃沃不足。




    反人类罪 – 在委内瑞拉的酷刑








    JUAN CARLOS VALLEJOSプロパティを設定します。



    EINSTEIN BOR引張力の理論。

    引数は評価にたくさんのお金を表すためにシークPROJECTS BY THEFTを聞いた。






    人道に対する罪 – ベネズエラにおける拷問




    人類の拷問に対する罪 – ベネズエラにおける拷問
    この情報は、場合でも、その医療に提示され、5つのPASIENTESの許可なくケース世界的現象の統計をするときは、副作用を治療のためのDESIDIOプロポフォールの使用、されていますDEATH、用量NOT RIGHT、間違った処理時間、STAFF勧告UNIVERSITY ASSOCIATEDカラボボBY不十分なELECTRO SHOKを用いた治療方法を提供する。
    MEDIA AND SITEMAは、これらのケースを解決しないように設定されている。




    人道に対する罪 – ベネズエラにおける拷問



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