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Police, company investigates Foxconn death

Foxconn says it is committed to ensuring its staff have a safe, satisfactory and healthy working environment.

Story highlights

  • Chengdu police are investigating the death of a Foxconn employee
  • Body of the 23-year-old found outside his residence, apparently from a fall
  • Comes after a rash of suicides at the brought scrutiny to the Apple supplier

Chengdu police are investigating the death of a Foxconn employee, whose body was found outside his residence earlier this week.

The man, whose surname is Xi, fell to his death, according to Chengdu authorities. The death is being reported by Reuters and other news agencies as a suicide, which CNN cannot independently confirm.

"We were informed by local law enforcement authorities in the city of Chengdu that [Wednesday] afternoon, a 23 year-old male Foxconn employee was found dead outside his off-campus residence in Chengdu," Foxconn Technology Group said in a statement.

"Chengdu law enforcement authorities are conducting a thorough investigation into this matter and Foxconn is cooperating with that process. We have extended our condolences to the family of this employee and we are working with the Foxconn Labor Union and others to provide the family with the support they need at this very sad time."

Apple and Foxconn -- a major manufacturer of iPhones and iPads -- agreed to improve labor conditions at the Chinese plants earlier this year.

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Foxconn, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based electronics supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. -- which also makes electronic goods for Sony, Microsoft, Nokia and other household brands -- came under intense scrutiny by CNN and other media outlets in 2010 after a series of suicides by workers at its Chinese plants raised questions about living and working conditions.

    Though Foxconn maintains its workers are treated well, Chairman Terry Gou made an unprecedented public apology in the wake of the suicides. Foxconn then released a statement saying it had introduced counselors, started a 24-hour phone counseling service and opened a stress room where workers can take out their frustration on mannequins with bats.

    Apple joined the Fair Labor Association earlier this year -- the first technology company to do so -- and authorized the group to audit Foxconn operations. A March 29 report found several violations, especially regarding excessive work hours of more than 60 hours a week.

    Apple and Foxconn have pledged to reduce working hours.