Foxconn opens factories to journalists as HP and Apple probe suicides at plants

It's a sad and tragic thing when anyone takes their own life. When a rash of suicides occurs in a single location, many start to wonder what the common link between those taking their own life is. The tragic saga of suicides at Hon Hai (Foxconn) first garnered headlines in July of 2009 when an engineer working on an iPhone prototype jumped to his death from his apartment after losing the prototype device.

In all at the Foxconn operations in China there have been nine suicides and two attempts this year according to an official who didn't want to be identified. In the midst of the suicides, Foxconn is trying to prove to the world that it is not operating a sweatshop and conditions at its facilities are humane. The company opened its plants to journalists for a tour to see working conditions first hand.

As this is all going on Apple and HP are conducting their own probes into the suicides. Apple Spokesman Steve Dowling said, "We're in direct contact with Foxconn senior management and we believe they are taking this matter very seriously. A team from Apple is independently evaluating the steps they are taking to address these tragic events and we will continue our ongoing inspections of the facilities where our products are made." Apple is "saddened and upset by the recent suicides at Foxconn," he continued.