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Chinese authorities probe Foxconn bribery charges

The consumer electronics maker says it brought in law enforcement authorities to investigate allegations of illegal payments by supply chain partners to Foxconn executives.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Foxconn is cooperating with Chinese authorities investigating allegations that executives at the electronics manufacturer received illegal bribes from supply chain partners.

The company, which produces consumer electronics for companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Sony, said in a statement that it brought in law enforcement officials to work with an internal audit team investigating the charges "against a number of Foxconn employees."

The statement comes after Taiwan-based Next Magazine reported that a Foxconn executive had been arrested in September as part of the allegations. When queried by CNET, a Foxconn representative declined to address whether an executive had been arrested.

"Since the matter is under investigation, we are not able to comment further," Foxconn said in a statement. "However, we can say that the integrity of our employees is something we take very seriously and any employees found guilty of any illegal actions or violations of our company's Code of Conduct will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

"We are also carrying out a full review of our policies and practices to identify steps we can take to strengthen such measures to further mitigate against such actions," the company added.

Foxconn, which is the world's largest component maker, has come under scrutiny in the past few years amid reports of employees committing suicide at company facilities. The company has also been accused of employing underage laborers, providing poor living conditions at its dormitory housing, and overworking employees.

Foxconn said in October that an internal investigation had found that interns as young as 14 were hired to work at a facility in the Shandong Province. China's legal working age is 16.

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