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Another Foxconn employee falls to death in China

A 21-year-old employee of Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn fell to his death in southern China, the 10th worker to be killed or injured in similar circumstances this year, state media said Friday.

world Updated: May 21, 2010 12:42 IST

A 21-year-old employee of Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn fell to his death in southern China, the 10th worker to be killed or injured in similar circumstances this year, state media said Friday.

The incidents have highlighted concerns about the difficult conditions for millions of factory workers in China, where long hours, minimal pay and significant pressure to produce are the norm.

The man, identified as Nan Gang, died in the early hours of Friday in Shenzhen, a special economic zone bordering Hong Kong, state Xinhua news agency said.

Officials at Foxconn -- whose clients include Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard -- were not immediately available for comment on the report.

Nan was the eighth Foxconn employee to die this year in what are suspected suicides. Two others suffered serious injuries in similar falls.

The report did not say whether the latest incident occurred at a Foxconn dormitory, as in previous cases.

Foxconn, known in Taiwan by the name of its parent, Hon Hai Precision, is the world's largest maker of computer components. It also makes iPhones for Apple.

It employs 800,000 people worldwide, with more than 300,000 in Shenzhen.

In July, a Foxconn worker committed suicide when the company held an inquiry into the disappearance of an iPhone prototype, for which the employee had been considered responsible.

Foxconn said earlier this week that it had hired Buddhist monks and psychological counselors for its workers at plants in China, noting that most of the services had been focused on Shenzhen.

"The company must initiate a thorough analysis of life on its production lines -- not just roll out more superficial, short-term fixes," the US-based China Labour Watch said earlier this week.

The watchdog group criticised Foxconn's "military-style administration and harsh working conditions" as well as what it called "Taiwanese administrators' disrespect for mainland workers."