After a spate of suicides at Hon Hai Industries' Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China, three of the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer's largest clients have said they're organizing their own investigations into the conditions of the factory.
"We are saddened and upset by the recent suicides at Foxconn," Apple said in a statement Wednesday to Bloomberg. "Apple is deeply committed to ensuring that conditions throughout our supply chain are safe and workers are treated with respect and dignity. We are in direct contact with Foxconn senior management and we believe they are taking this matter very seriously."
Foxconn builds iPhones, iPods, and MacBooks for Apple.
Dell, which orders some of its laptops from Foxconn, is looking into the matter as well. "We expect our suppliers to employ the same high standards we do in our own facilities. We enforce these standards through a variety of tools, including the Electronics Industry code of conduct, business reviews with suppliers, self-assessments and audits."
Hewlett-Packard also chimed in that it is investigating "the Foxconn practices that may be associated with these tragic events."
Since the beginning of the year, nine people have killed themselves and two others were seriously injured in suicide attempts at the factory that employs 450,000 workers. Media attempts to report on the deaths and conditions of the factory have been rebuffed, sometimes violently, by Hon Hai.
Hon Hai's CEO Terry Gou led a media tour of the factory himself on Wednesday seemingly to assure the press that his factory is not a sweatshop.
Update 1:40 p.m. PDT: Just hours after the CEO-led media tour of the factory came reports of another suicide by a Foxconn employee. The worker is said to have jumped to his death at the Shenzhen plant. This would mark the tenth suicide at the 450,000-employee factory since the beginning of the year.
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