Foxconn "Suicide Cluster" Claims Another Victim

Illustration for article titled Foxconn "Suicide Cluster" Claims Another Victim

The Foxconn suicide mess has gotten even messier, with another reported death and 30 suicide attempts in the past three weeks alone.

The latest death was a 21-year-old man who reportedly fell from the seventh-story window of one of Foxconn's many worker dormitories in Shenzhen, China. He had sustained several knife cuts and a "dagger" was found at the scene. The death has not yet been ruled a suicide, even though the circumstances (jumping from a dormitory) mimic those we've seen with Foxconn suicides in the past.

We recently broke down the Foxconn suicide numbers, and at the time the stats were in line or even below China's overall suicide rate, but the revelation that 30 people have attempted suicide in the past three weeks is perhaps indicative of a much larger, much more troubling phenomenon.


Telegraph columnist Malcolm Moore, who's been chronicling the suicides in-country for some time now, has labeled this a "suicide cluster," wherein "the notion of suicide spreads rapidly through a group of people, often teenagers or young adults." It just so happens that nine of the Foxconn workers who killed themselves by leaping from their dorms earlier this year were all 25-years-old or younger and had been working at Foxconn for less than six months.

Foxconn is reportedly at a loss as to how and stop the "suicide cluster" from spreading further. The desperate company has even brought in a Buddhist monk to try and rid the factories of "evil spirits." [The Telegraph]

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Lets look at the facts:

The Foxconn factory has approximately 330,000 workers at any given time.

Between January and May 2010 there were 8 suicides at the factory. (1.6 suicides/month)

Taken together, this means there are roughly 6 suicides/100,000 workers/year.

China's national average in 1999 was 13.9 suicides/100,000 people/year.

America's national average in 2005 was 11.1 suicides/100,00o people/year.

How is this news????