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Foxconn Boss: Worker Suicides Are Not Our Fault

Posted: 07/2/2014 5:12 pm

terry gou guo taiming foxconn ceoThe head of Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn has come out to say a spate of suicides over the years at the factories in China are not related to poor labor conditions.

Terry Gou (Guo Taiming), the founder and chief executive of Foxconn, told a shareholder meeting that 90% of the suicides that have happened at Foxconn are “due to personal problems and family disputes”. Gou also told investors that with 470,000 employees, odds are some will commit suicide.

Guo did show some compassion, though, saying suicide does not solve any problems, and that anyone with suicidal thoughts should call the suicide prevention hotline.

Foxconn came to media prominence when a rash of suicides took place at the mega-factory complex between 2010 and 2012. As a result, staff made changes to the work environment that include reduced work hours, increased pay, the installment of safety nets to catch jumpers, psychological staff to help workers.


Photo: China Daily


Guangzhou Student Loses RMB 20k in World Cup Bet, Jumps Off Dorm Roof

Posted: 06/24/2014 4:12 pm

panyu world cup gamble suicide A man that fell to his death from a building at the University of Panyu is said to have committed suicide after losing a RMB 20,000 bet on the World Cup, reports 21cn.

Students at the university say the victim is a second-year student that had previously made bets on the World Cup, but his identity has not yet been verified.

Eyewitness Xiao Cai said the incident happened yesterday morning at around 10 o’clock. Xiao was on the sixth floor of the front wing of the Weiyi building when she saw the victim on seventh-floor roof of the back wing sitting on a chair and talking on the phone.

Despite being over 50 meters away from her, Xiao said she was able to hear everything the man said because he was in an excited state. According to Xiao, she heard the man say phrases like “Don’t force me” and “Give me two more days.”

Xiao explained what happened next:

He spoke on the phone for over ten minutes. I saw that he stood up after hanging up the phone, and then all of a sudden he disappeared. This made me very afraid. I hurried downstairs and discovered that he had jumped.

The victim was reportedly sent to the hospital, but succumbed to his injuries.

world cup betting sites

Students at the university revealed in a video interview that online betting is popular among students, especially at World Cup time. After making bets online, transactions can be completed using a third-party e-commerce system like Alipay.

In other World Cup gambling news, authorities in Macau recently busted a World Cup gambling ring worth approximately $645 million.


Photo: Dongguan Times


Man Kills Himself in Frenzied Gun Battle With Hong Kong Police

Posted: 06/3/2014 6:05 pm

gun standoff hong kong battle fight shootingA pitched gun battle against Hong Kong’s elite police forces on June 1 has ended with a murder suspect dying from a gunshot wound.

Dead is 51 year-old Li Deren. Police say Li shot himself, presumably with his own gun.

The suicide comes after an hour-long standoff with police in which shots were intermittently fired throughout.

Police with dogs, gas masks and sub-machine guns were seen converging upon the apartment complex in Choi Hung District at around 11am as crowds and reporters were continually pushed away from the scene and moved behind cover.

The suspect was seen at one point outside his own apartment window, holding a gun to his own head.

After two police officers were seen rappelling down the side of the high-rise apartment building, a frenzied gun fight took place with as many as 20 shots fired, according to some media outlets. Bright flashes and smoke could be seen coming through the window of the suspect’s apartment.

Li was wanted in conjunction with a shooting murder that took place at the same apartment complex.  On May 31 at 11pm, an air conditioning technician was shot three times in the chest after a heated argument that took place in the elevator atrium.

Current developments indicate the suspect is the father of Li Yuetong, a woman involved in an extra-marital affair with director Peng Xun, himself married to film star Li Xinhao. However, no direct connection to the case has been established yet.

gun standoff hong kong battle fight shootinggun standoff hong kong battle fight shootinggun standoff hong kong battle fight shooting

Photos: Shenzhen Police via Weibo, People’s Daily


Threatening to Jump, Woman in Zhongshan Falls Asleep During Suicide Attempt

Posted: 04/16/2014 6:06 pm

suicide jumper falls asleep zhongshan guangdong attempted

When is a suicide attempt a cry for help, and when is it a cry for attention? We may never know for sure, but one thing is certain: attempting suicide can make people dead tired, especially for a 50 year-old woman in the city of Zhongshan, Nandu reports.

Emergency services arrived at 10:40pm in the Antang neighborhood of Dayong District to see a woman threatening to jump off a second-story roof. Visibly agitated, the woman continually cried out but rejected any offers of help by emergency responders.

Firefighters were not able to approach the woman since the area was too dark to safely mount a rescue; turning on more lights was simply out of the question. As such, they decided not to take any further action. Instead, firefighters set up an air mattress below as personnel took shifts to watch over the woman should anything occur. It didn’t.

Instead, they found the suicidal woman had settled for dreamland over heaven and had fallen asleep on the roof. When firefighters approached the woman in the early morning hours and inadvertently woke her up, the woman got up and renewed her previous threats of suicide with fresh vigor now that she had gotten a good night’s rest.

Perhaps realizing that living on the roof is rent-free, a neighbor intervened. At 10am on April 15, a full 12 hours after the incident started, the neighbor successfully negotiated with the woman to come down from the roof.

It turns out the woman was upset because her personal ID and cash had been stolen and that she had been beaten up by someone. That being said, it’s still not clear what demands she was making while threatening to end her own life.

suicide jumper falls asleep zhongshan guangdong attempted

Photos: Nandu


Grisly scene in Guangzhou as man jumps to death in public shopping mall

Posted: 11/18/2013 7:00 am

A man jumped seven storeys and died at Guangzhou’s Tianhe City Mall on Saturday afternoon, TVS reports.

The man, aged around 30, had climbed the barrier on the seventh floor and was perched on the precipice, starting a stand-off involving passers-by and security staff. After chatting with security staff, he smoked a couple of cigarettes and was talked off the ledge, according at an eyewitness named Mr. Tang.

The stand-off, image via TVS.

However, he then jumped at around 3:40 p.m. and was confirmed dead by paramedics.

Paramedics at the scene, via Sina Weibo


Man arrested after 13-hour suicide stand-off on Liede Bridge

Posted: 09/19/2013 4:38 pm

Mr. Su sits poised on the bridge, image courtesy of Xinkuaibao

A Zhongshan man was arrested yesterday after spending 13 hours poised on Guangzhou’s Liede Bridge in a suicide stand-off, Xinkuaibao reports. He set the record for the longest stand-off of this kind even though the bridge’s suspension cables were wrapped in barb wire earlier this year to prevent suicidal people from climbing it.

Mr. Su, 40, admitted his behaviour was wrong after police, firefighters, paramedics, and even a representative of the Zhongshan government were called in to talk him down from the bridge while he was up there between 6:48 a.m. and 7:48 p.m.

Su claimed to have lost a lot of money in 2007 after investing in a tree planting project in Shunde and was no longer able to feed his family or serve the people.

When police finally guided him down he was in good physical condition despite not having eaten all day.

He is under arrest for disturbing public order.


Spreading online rumours in Guangdong gets serious, leads to a woman’s suicide

Posted: 09/18/2013 5:40 pm

China is cracking down on online rumour-mongering, and this could be one reason why.

A woman in Huizhou is on trial for provoking a suicide with defamatory rumours that she spread, Guangzhou Daily reports.

Mrs. Li, 29, pleaded guilty in Huicheng Court of falsely claiming on the QQ page of a Ms. Hao that she was having an inappropriate affair. She pleaded guilty Monday (Sept. 16) to spreading the rumours that caused Hao to jump off a building.

It started in 2010 when Li met Hao over the internet. On May 14 this year, Hao said something about one of Li’s friends that she thought disrespectful so she got upset.

That evening, she went to an internet bar in Huizhou’s Zhongkai District and created a QQ account with the name “恨你” (hate you). She wrote on Hao’s QQ page false claims about how she lived a depraved and promiscuous lifestyle.

The speech bubble is the contents of Hao’s suicide note, image courtesy of Guangzhou Daily

Hao was later found dead and her suicide note read: “I don’t understand. Who hates me so much? What have I done wrong?”

Li admitted in court that the claims of promiscuity and depravity were unconfirmed rumours that she had heard.

Hao’s family is demanding 750,000 RMB in compensation. Li said she wants to pay it back but does not have the money and is unlikely to earn it if she goes to jail.

China is in the midst of a crackdown on online rumour-mongering, which is most likely targeted at those spreading political rumours.

According to Reuters:

People will be charged with defamation if posts online that contain rumours are visited by 5,000 internet users or reposted more than 500 times, according to a judicial interpretation issued this month by China’s top court and prosecutor.

That rule, which could lead to three years in jail, is part of a recent government efforts to rein in social media, increasingly used by Chinese people to discuss politics, despite stringent censorship.

An interesting article was also published this week in “An Optimist’s Guide to China” about online rumour-mongering.


University in Dongguan makes students sign suicide disclaimer

Posted: 09/17/2013 7:00 am

City College of Dongguan University of Technology had 5,000 freshmen sign contracts on Sunday (Sept. 16) stipulating that the university would not be held responsible in the event of suicide or injury, China Daily reports.

The university denied reports in local media that the contract came after a male student stabbed and injured a female schoolmate in a university dormitory after she refused to be his girlfriend last school term.

Some students defended the move, saying that not all student suicides were the result of study pressure. According to The Journal of Adolescent Health, family factors are the main cause of suicide attempts among adolescents. Relationship and financial problems are also common factors.

However, the contract is controversial:

Still, many parents see the contract as a way for the college to shun responsibility.

A father, who didn’t want to be named, said he sent his child to the university because he trusted it would ensure a safe environment for students.

“The university shouldn’t pass the buck when things happen on campus,” he said.

Suicide is among the leading causes of death among adolescents in China. The Daily Telegraph wrote in 2009 about the wave of suicides among students set to graduate into a difficult job market. This year’s students graduated into the most competitive job market of recent memory so don’t expect the suicides to rapidly decrease.


Shanxi boy whose eyes were gouged out is in Shenzhen for surgery

Posted: 09/10/2013 7:00 am

It was the story that shocked China.  Little Guo Bin (known affectionately as Bin Bin), a 6-year old child, was playing outside his home when he was lured away and had both of his eyes gouged out by a woman in Shanxi Province late last month.  The prime suspect was his aunt, who killed herself six days later. Blood from the boy was apparently found on her clothes.

Bin Bin has since been transported down here to Shenzhen, where he arrived on Sunday to have artificial eyes fitted. He will also get navigation sensors to help him detect shapes, the South China Morning Post reports.

Bin Bin with his mother, image courtesy of South China Morning Post

Although the technology to restore his eyesight does not currently exist, doctors are hopeful that he will see again.

The paper has more:

“He was very excited [about the plane trip]“, said Dr Dennis Lam Shun-chiu at whose hospital Bin-Bin will be treated.

“He asked his mother whether they were in the sky already. He went near a window and wanted to see the sky but he couldn’t,” Lam said.

“He still has hope that he will be able to see again. His parents dare not tell him that the chance is small.”

Lam, who saw the boy at his C-MER Dennis Lam Eye Hospital on Sunday, said Bin-Bin had told investigators he was aware that he had lost his eyes and said it was a woman who did it.

Since the attack two weeks ago he has been treated at a hospital in Shanxi. Lam, who is offering free treatment for the boy, said his wounds were stable and there were no signs of infection.

After four to eight weeks, doctors will give him prosthetic eye pieces that are coloured to look like normal eyes. These will be attached to eye tissues and muscles to give normal eye movement.

Lam has also ordered navigation sensors from Japan and Europe and hopes Bin-Bin can start learning to use them in the next few months. If necessary, he might go to Germany or Japan for training.

The navigation devices, worn on the forehead or tongue, capture images and translate them into electric signals that stimulate the skin. He is expected to stay in Shenzhen for 2-3 months after the operation.

The motive of the attack may never be known.


Dongguan police captain found dead after apparent suicide

Posted: 08/5/2013 10:00 am

A police captain was found dead in Dongguan’s Qiaotou Village after apparently jumping off a bridge on August 2. His colleagues at the Changping Public Security Bureau say he was under a large amount of pressure at work and his wife says his behaviour had been somewhat odd in the days before his death.

The autopsy showed no evidence that he was murdered, Nandu Daily reports.

Liu Canxin, 46, a Dongguan native who had earlier been in the armed forces, was known as a responsible and stoic cop. However, he was remarkably quiet and aloof, seldom talking with his colleagues in the canteen. This may be why none of his colleagues noticed anything unbecoming until his wife reported him missing.

He was also described as a perfectionist, which may have contributed to the stress he was feeling at work.

Liu is not the first high-ranking police officer in the Pearl River Delta to have killed himself this year. In January, Qi Xiaolin, deputy head of the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau, was found hanged in his home.

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