updated 03:15 pm EDT, Tue July 21, 2009
Apple has confirmed the suicide of a Foxconn employee working in China, according to reports. Foxconn is one of Apple's largest manufacturing partners, responsible for assembling both the iPod and the iPhone. The worker, 25-year-old Sun Danyong, had been assigned to shipping iPhone prototypes to Apple.
Danyong killed himself last week, following an incident involving a batch of fourth-generation iPhone prototypes. A collection of 16 prototypes had been assigned to Danyong, and before his death the worker is said to have told his bosses that one had gone missing. Foxconn has since admitted to an extremely harsh interrogation conducted by a security chief, including solitary confinement, a house search and possibly beatings.
On July 16th, Danyong leaped off of a 12-story building. "We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death," says Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet. "We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect." Apple has sometimes been accused of maintaining draconian security around its products, in order to preserve surprise for the media, the public and its competition.