Chinese Worker at Foxconn Committed Suicide after iPhone Prototype was Missing


[NetEase] July 16 morning Foxconn (in Shenzhen Baoan district) 25-year-old worker, Sun Danyong leapt from his apartment, a 12 story building to his death. Before this, he was in charge of the 16 Apple iPhone prototypes and one of them was missing. Therefore Sun was under company’s investigation. On the 18th Sun’s university classmate said, during the investigation Sun was illegally searched, detained and also physically abused.

College graduate Sun Danyong working in product communications, on July 9th went to the manufactory to pick up the iPhone prototypes. July 10th, he discovered that one of the phones was missing. He suspected that he left it at the factory, but could not find it when he went back. Not able to find the missing iPhone, on July 13 he reported this to his boss. July 15, 3 Foxconn workers broke into Sun’s apartment and searched it.

After sun committed suicide, police found numerous messages on his cell phone sent to his friends, saying because he was in charge of N90 Apple iPhones now one is missing, company is suspecting him. He is being investigated and searched, and is deeply troubled.

Sun’s college classmate posted a forum post saying Sun’s death has a lot to do with how the company handled (mishandled) missing iPhone incident. He also posted the last online conversation he had with Sun.

Sun Danyong (420170145)23:52:57

As far as I can remember I only have been insulted 2 times in my life…

Sun talked about his experience when he was in high school, bullied by upper-classmates.

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:06:41

Ever since I got into the company I have never taken anything.

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:07:03

But in fact I am not good at my work, it is because of my ability.

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:08:59

Since 88EV, all the prototypes goes through me, never had anything happened to them maybe it is because Song Kui always leads me.

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:10:06

Never took anything, this time the iPhone is not taken by me

(Friend) Gao Ge 高歌(470663595)00:11:48

Who framed you?

Gao Ge(470663595)00:12:16

Yong, you should calm down and think about what happened.

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:13:03

I already thought about it, missing phone only has 2 possibilities, 1. Before I put it into the box, someone took it by mistake. 2. Someone purposely took it the next day.

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:14:23

Although there is top secret seal, but looks like someone touched the box.

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:17:17

The reason it took me 3 days to tell my boos is because I was looking for it. At the time all I know the phone is not at the factory , want to find it myself. Then I could not find it, and I know leak company secret has serious consequences so I called Jeff

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:20:34

Dear Jeff, the reason I was late 2 hours to work is because Monday I stayed with my girlfriend and there is no bus at 2 am in the morning I could not get back in time, that night I stayed over and came to work the next morning.

Gao Ge(470663595)00:24:43

They suspected you took the phone?

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:26:55

Today I was integrated by the security department, honestly all I said was the truth, no lies, even though something looks suspicious, I understand, if I were you I would think the same way.

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:27:35

But I cannot accept security insulted my dignity.

(Friend) 高歌(470663595)00:27:51

What happened?

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:30:02

Even if send me to the police, the law will not use violence, they are only a company.

Sun Danyong 420170145)00:32:03

I am only a suspect, dear chief security, what reason and rights do you have to detain me and beat me?

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:37:58

Missing iPhone is my responsibility, I can take it and I am also ashamed, but fuck, I didn’t take it.

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:39:22

Foxconn is so powerful, but it is a good place, only those dogs, they are not human.

Sun Danyong (420170145)00:57:41

I join the department almost one year now, really I am very thankful to everyone there, I am very happy working with you, especially my dear boss Jeff, really thank you, I had some many problems at work , you always cover it for me and take care of everything.

Gao Ge(470663595)01:00:07

Brother Yong, what are you talking about, I am confused.

Gao Ge(470663595)01:00:16

Talk about yourself.

Sun Danyong (420170145)01:03:20

Really thank you, but I am speaking from my heart, if I would to choose a boss between you and Rouger, I would choose Rouger, you are a good person, if there is problem you always take care of it for me, but honestly in front of you I feel too much pressure, I cannot find things to talk to you. I don’t like Rouger, but I rather get yelled by him, even though Rouger has a bad personality, but he is excellent in some ways. I interacted with him couple of times, when he talks to me I am very calm, also I can find things to talk to him, isn’t that interesting?

Sun Danyong (420170145)01:06:56

I only hope someone can put Foxconn into place, don’t be fucking like the mafia, search and detain people and beating people up.

Sun Danyong (420170145)01:10:26

I thought today they searched my place and that’s it, but they even went to RDDQE department’s girls house, even police needs a search warrant, this is too unbelievable, I don’t know if people would believe that just as if I didn’t take the phone, many few people would believe that also.

Sun Danyong (420170145)01:11:51

To everyone at work, I say it for the last time: I didn’t take the missing N90 phone.

Sun Danyong (420170145)01:12:38

Gao Ge, are you still there?

Gao Ge(470663595)01:12:56

yes I am here

Sun Danyong  (470663595)01:13:05

I am listening

Sun Danyong (420170145)01:13:20

Long time no see I miss you guys

Gao Ge(470663595)01:13:26

me too

Gao Ge(470663595)01:13:37

we should meet up sometimes

Gao Ge(470663595)01:13:42

what do you think

Sun Danyong (420170145)01:13:51

hope so

Gao Ge(470663595)01:14:18

what hope?

Gao Ge(470663595)01:14:26

for sure!

Gao Ge(470663595)01:16:05

I will go to Shenzhen you need to take care of me.

Sun Danyong (420170145)01:19:18

I really have been bullied by you and don’t know what to say anymore, Dear Gu chief (of the security), Hope you will get your deserts, even you guys can beat me up, even though you guys can quickly make another phone, but that’s because Foxconn is good, not you guys.

Sun Danyong (420170145)01:21:28

Oh, also one more thing, I still owe the school loans, hope this will not affect my brothers and sisters, I am sorry about this.

Sun Danyong (420170145)01:26:27

I am going now, Gao Ge, rest well, think about tomorrow will not be insulted and framed, I feel better.


This is Sun Danyong’s last message to two of his classmates on July 16 1:57 am.

“How are you lately, today I am fucking depressed, in fortune 500 company happen this kind of thing, not only I was beaten up, my cell phone were also read by those sons of bitches, searched my apartment and placed me in confinement.”

Foxconn Technology Group chief executive, general manager Li Jinming (李金明) was interviewed, said that on behalf of himself and his group of employees they are sad and sorry about Sun Danyong’s suicide.
In regards to the rumor of Foxconn environmental protection (security) section chief use of inappropriate means such as searching Sun’s home holding in solitary confinement and so on, the company welcomes the public to help review the management of Foxcoon’s deficiencies. The company has already started investigation on some of the issues.

At present, the company has already suspended Gu section chief of environmental protection without pay. And he will be investigated by the public security department. Li Jinming said that Foxconn will do our best to do a good job with the family of the deceased together with the aftermath.

[Daily Tech]

Apple has released a statement to CNET regarding the death. "We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death. We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect," said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet.

Steven Lin, a Chinese blogger and marketer, perhaps sums it up best, writing:

Students [like Sun] have been studying in schools for years, and they have been carefully protected by their parents. They can’t endure such pressure – ‘their house being illegally searched,’ or ‘house arrests’ (if that’s true, according some reports news). Employees at these and other factories sometimes kill themselves simply because of the pressure from their daily jobs — you know what’s going to happen when they face more serious threats. Also, most young Chinese guys don’t have friends who are lawyers, so they don’t know how to protect themselves in the legal system. They won’t even look for help from the legal system. They will just endure the pressure, and finally find an extreme way to end all their troubles.

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