Tag Archives: China

China’s Exploding Watermelons

Info from Oiwan Lam at GlobalVoices.org – an international blog for human justice issues.

A few months ago, local state media exposed that farmers in China’s Jiangsu province were affected by the problem of “exploding watermelons” due to the overuse of chemicals. On 5 July, 2011, the Ministry of Agriculture asserted [1] [zh] that the chemical growth enhancer for watermelon is safe as the toxic residue level is low.

The Ministry also stated that if growth chemicals banned in China, the whole agricultural industry sector would be affected.

According to Hutong news summary [2] [zh], the watermelons were exploding in the fields like balloons. The growth enhancer involved in the incident is Forchlorfenuron [3], which is also legal in the United States. As the growth enhancer drains fruit of its flavor, farmers have also been applying chemical sweeteners and dyes to the watermelons.

Don't blame the watermelons, according to the Ministry of Agriculture

Plastic watermelon

The latest scandal is the discovery of plastic material inside a watermelon in Jinan city. Here is a television news segment showing what a plastic watermelon looks like.

Read the rest of the story or comments from other international bloggers here.


Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/07/08/china-exploding-watermelon-is-safe/

URLs in this post:

[1] asserted: http://www.caijing.com.cn/2011-07-06/110766306.html

[2] Image: http://www.hudong.com/wiki/%E7%88%86%E7%82%B8%E8%A5%BF%E7%93%9C

[3] Forchlorfenuron: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forchlorfenuron

[4] Image: http://weibo.com/1642088277/l4EWC7XGN#a_comment

[5] http://t.cn/apCbAA: http://t.cn/apCbAA

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Asian Women Struggling for Power

Recently my friend shared two interesting articles on women’s rights and issues from Asia, one from Japan and the other from China.  In both articles women are either struggling to maintain power (China’s Mosuo tribe) or struggling to achieve it (Japan).

While I don’t believe that women should dominate men (which photograph Locatelli finds positive, you’ll see what I mean), I think more than anything juxtaposing these articles reveals how women aren’t “naturally” submissive and less powerful than men – we’ve just been socialized to think that way.

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Is China’s Mosuo tribe the world’s last matriarchy?

Shahesta Shaitly, The Observer

…Known as the “Kingdom of Women” throughout China, 40,000 Mosuo people live in a series of villages around the lake. Women here make most major decisions; they control household finances, have the rightful ownership of land and houses, and full rights to the children born to them – quite radical considering that many parts of China still practise arranged marriages – although political power tends to rest with the men (making the description “matrilineal” more accurate).

But what makes the Mosuo unique is their practice of zuo hun, or “walking marriage”. From the age of 13, after being initiated, females may choose to take lovers from men within the tribe, having as many or as few as they please over their lifetime.

Male companions are known as axias and spend their days carrying out jobs such as fishing and animal rearing, and visit the women’s homes at night, often secretly; any resulting children are raised by the woman’s family. The father and all adult men are known as “uncles” – there is no stigma attached to not knowing who a child’s father is.

Photo by Luca Locatelli

As commerce tries to elbow tradition out of the way and younger generations of the Mosuo are tempted by outside influence, a darker, seedier side has emerged in recent years. Tourism is booming, and the Chinese government is keen to market and monetise the Mosuo to Chinese tourists, even installing a toll booth charging $5 to enter the area from the newly laid main road.

Curious and frisky visitors are lured in by the suggestion that the Mosuo women offer free sex – hotels, restaurants, casinos and karaoke bars have been built, and sex workers shipped over from Thailand dress in Mosuo traditional dress in the “capital village”, Luoshu.

“Arriving in Luoshu was a shock – it was tacky and not how I expected,” says [photographer Luca] Locatelli. “There were a lot of people asking for money: bar owners and prostitutes that are obviously not Mosuo – it’s all geared towards male Chinese tourists.”

After talking to locals, Locatelli decided to move on to another village, Lige, in search of “real Mosuo”. “I crossed the lake to another village and found them living in the same traditions they have done for 2,000 years – the people there were lovely, kind and living simple, happy lives.” With all the modern temptations for the younger generation of Mosuo now right on their doorstep, Locatelli found a community caught between cultural tradition and the modern world.

“Their way of life is slowly changing, but there is a real sense of pride in the way they live,” he says. “Men and women are very much equals, but the women are just a little more in charge.”

Japanese women sue to keep maiden names

By Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP News

A group of Japanese women filed a challenge Monday to a 19th century law that compels almost all females to drop their maiden names and assume their husbands’ surnames when they marry.

The landmark case, launched before the Tokyo District Court, is seen as a test for the rights of women, who continue to struggle against gender stereotypes and remain under-represented in politics and corporate boardrooms.

Japan’s Civil Code stipulates that married couples must share one surname — in practice almost always that of the husband, although some men have assumed their wives’ names, often if the women come from noble families.

The plaintiffs — four women, and the husband of one of them — argue that the civil code clause dating back to 1898 breaches the constitutional guarantee of equal rights for both spouses.

The individuals from Tokyo, Kyoto and Toyama are also demanding a total of six million yen ($70,000) in damages for their emotional distress, a higher amount than the group had announced earlier, their lawyers said.

Hopes for a revision of the civil code rose after the centre-left Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) took power in September 2009, ending half a century of conservative rule, and pushed for an immediate change.

However the reform withered as the DPJ’s small coalition partner, the People’s New Party, strongly opposes the move, a position shared by many other conservative politicians in Japan.

Public opinion is sharply divided on the issue. In a recent government survey, 37 percent of respondents said they supported a revision of the code, while 35 percent were against.

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Chinese Government Responds to Call for Protests

When I went to China there were heavily armed police at every metro stop, every tourist site, and especially at Tiananmen Square where the 1989 protests took place.  Every university has a party member censoring what they lecture, and it is strongly discouraged to speak about any rebellion against the government.  Not only is the information everyday Chinese citizens receive censored, as the news media is controlled by the state, but information about the recent protests in Egypt, Tunisia, and Bahrain was especially limited.

Which makes this really interesting!

And no, don’t blame this on communism – this is totalitarianism.

According to BBC News:

Figures published last year suggested the Chinese government spent almost as much on maintaining internal security as on defence.

A leading government think-tank has said there have been 90,000 so-called “mass incidents” – examples of public unrest – in China every year since 2007.

A revolt seems to be fomenting!  If only the story could break in China…

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New York Times, Andrew Jacobs

BEIJING — Skittish domestic security officials responded with a mass show of force across China on Sunday after anonymous calls for protesters to stage a Chinese “Jasmine Revolution” went out over social media and microblogging outlets.

Although there were no reports of large demonstrations, the outsize government response highlighted China’s nervousness at a time of spreading unrest in the Middle East aimed at overthrowing authoritarian governments.

The words “Jasmine Revolution,” borrowed from the successful Tunisian revolt, were blocked on sites similar to Twitter and on Internet search engines, while cellphone users were unable to send out text messages to multiple recipients. A heavy police presence was reported in several Chinese cities.

In recent days, more than a dozen lawyers and rights activists have been rounded up, and more than 80 dissidents have reportedly been placed under varying forms of house arrest. At least two lawyers are still missing, family members and human rights advocates said Sunday.

In Beijing, a huge crowd formed outside a McDonald’s in the heart of the capital on Sunday after messages went out listing it as one of 13 protest sites across the country. It is not clear who organized the campaign, but it first appeared Thursday on Boxun, a Chinese-language Web site based in the United States, and then spread through Twitter and other microblogging services.

Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press - A man, center, was detained by the police near a planned protest site in Shanghai on Sunday.

By 2 p.m., the planned start of the protests, hundreds of police officers had swarmed the area, a major shopping district popular with tourists.

At one point, the police surrounded a young man who had placed a jasmine flower on a planter outside the McDonald’s, but he was released after the clamor drew journalists and photographers.

In Shanghai, three people were detained during a skirmish in front of a Starbucks, The Associated Press reported. One post on Twitter described a heavily armed police presence on the subways of Shenzhen, and another claimed that officials at Peking University in Beijing had urged students to avoid any protests, but those reports were impossible to verify Sunday.

The messages calling people to action urged protesters to shout, “We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness,” an ostensible effort to tap into popular discontent over inflation and soaring real estate prices.

In a sign of the ruling Communist Party’s growing anxiety, President Hu Jintao summoned top leaders to a special “study session” on Saturday and urged them to address festering social problems before they became threats to stability.

“The overall requirements for enhancing and innovating social management are to stimulate vitality in the society and increase harmonious elements to the greatest extent, while reducing inharmonious factors to the minimum,” he told the gathering, according to Xinhua, the official news agency. Mr. Hu also urged those gathered to step up Internet controls and to better “guide public opinion,” a reference to efforts aimed at shaping attitudes toward the government through traditional propaganda and online commentators who masquerade as ordinary users.

Human rights advocates said they were especially concerned by the recent crackdown on rights defenders, which intensified Saturday after at least 15 well-known lawyers and activists were detained or placed under house arrest. Several of them reached by phone, including Pu Zhiqiang and Xu Zhiyong, said they were in the company of security agents and unable to talk, while many others were unreachable on Sunday evening. Two of the men, Tang Jitian and Jiang Tianyong, remain missing.

Many of those subjected to house arrest had met in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss the case of Chen Guangcheng, a blind lawyer under strict house arrest in rural Shandong Province. The plight of Mr. Chen and his family gained widespread attention last week after a video he and his wife made about his arrest emerged on the Internet.

Mr. Jiang, one of the missing lawyers, was forced into an unmarked van on Saturday night, his second abduction in recent days, his wife, Jin Bianling, said by telephone. She said the police had also searched the couple’s home and confiscated his computer and briefcase.

In an interview after his first detention on Wednesday, Mr. Jiang said that he was taken to a police station and assaulted.

Most of those who thronged the McDonald’s in Wangfujing, the Beijing shopping district, said they had no idea what the commotion was about. Some thought that perhaps a celebrity had slipped into the restaurant for a hamburger. But a young man, a Web page designer in his late 20s, quietly acknowledged that he was drawn by word of the protest.

Despite the absence of any real action, the man, who gave only his family name, Cui, said he was not disappointed by the outcome, in which police officers tried in vain to determine who was a potential troublemaker and who was simply a gawker. He predicted that many people, emboldened by the fact that an impromptu gathering had coalesced at all, would use social networking technology to stage similar events in the future.

“It’s very difficult to do this in China, but this is a good start,” he said. “I’m thankful to be able to participate in this moment in history.”

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China bans animal circuses

I was in China last summer for a few weeks.  Although I didn’t catch any live feeding frenzy circuses, I did remember a bear exhibit at the Great Wall.  That’s right – bears.

As you’re walking to one of the entrances to the Badaling section of the Great Wall, you see all of these people gathered around an in-set bear exhibit.  All along the side are plates of apples and whatnot for sale which you can purchase to use to feed the bears.  While in America someone would purchase a plate and stick their hand out to be eaten so that they can sue for damages, in China there’s not a concept of suing a company or the government for endangerment.

On to the interesting news!

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By Malcolm Moore, from The Telegraph

Zoos will have to stop attractions where live chickens, goats, cows and even horses are sold to visitors who can then watch them be torn apart by big cats Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Live animal shows and circuses are hugely popular in China, and draw around 150 million visitors a year at 700 zoos. However, animal rights campaigners have repeatedly complained that the shows should be stopped.

“A zoo in my city had a show where they forced an adult lion to stand on the back of a horse for a sort of animal acrobatic performance,” said Xiao Bing, the chairman of the local animal protection association in the southern city of Xiamen.

“I also saw one entertainment park where the monkeys seemed to have wounds all over their bodies. The manager told me the monkeys got hurt during live monkey-fighting shows,” he said.

Other cases of abuse include beating lions to make them jump through rings of fire and forcing bears to walk across tightropes, said Hua Ning, at the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Chinese circuses have defended their shows, saying that the animals are well fed and that teaching them tricks can help them become “stars”.

However, the Chinese government has now issued a total ban, which came into force on Tuesday across the 300 state-owned zoos which are part of the China Zoo Association.

“We are hopeful it will have an effect,” said David Neale, the Animal Welfare Director at Animals Asia. “I visited Chongqing zoo before Christmas and their circus was clearing out, and Kunming zoo has also said its circus has been closed.”

Other zoos, however, said they had received no notice of the new rules. “We will help police the ban and report any cases we find to the government,” vowed Mr Neale.

The ban will also force zoos to stop selling animal parts in their shops and zoo restaurants will have to stop serving dishes made out of rare animals, another widespread practice.

Similarly, zoos will no longer be able to pull the teeth of baby tigers so that tourists can hold them and will have to stop attractions where live chickens, goats, cows and even horses are sold to visitors who can then watch them be torn apart by big cats.

A spokesman for China’s State Forestry Bureau said a three-month investigation last year had uncovered more than 50 zoos where animals were suffering severely because of abuse.

However, the closure of the shows could push some zoos towards bankruptcy and may leave many animals with an uncertain future. “In some cases, I am not sure where the animals will go,” said Mr Neale.

“In some cases I would recommend euthanasia, since there are animals in a very bad way after a few years of being in these performances.”

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Knowing cultural view of virginity, Chinese women try surgical restoration

Having just been to China and spent numerous hours discussing transnational gender issues, I found this article fascinating.  For Chinese women these unrealistic expectations of virginity are a real problem, and result in Lolita-like fashions, baby-doll pornography and a booming child sex-trafficking trade.  This also trickles down into personal relationships as women are prevented from feeling sexually liberated due to the double standard.

As much as I would like to agree with Zhou Hong, the doctor performing these surgical restorations, in saying that this is a liberating act, these surgeries avoid the consciousness raising that could come from direct communication.  Read about the stir this caused in Egpt, here.

We could also learn something here, Americans, that virginity before marriage isn’t all that important and it’s far from immoral.  But safety first!

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By Keith B. Richburg in Beijing, The Washington Post
Tuesday, August 17, 2010; A06

China has long been known as the land of fakes — Rolexes, DVDs, handbags and designer clothes.

Add a new one to the list: fake virgins.

A growing number of Chinese women — mostly in their 20s and about to get married — are opting for a surgical procedure called “hymen restoration,” which returns the hymen to its condition before it was ruptured, which typically occurs during first sexual contact but can also happen while playing sports or doing other strenuous activities.

Even as China has flung open its doors to the West and modernized, a deeply conservative and chauvinistic attitude persists. Many men, including white-collar professionals, say they want to marry a virgin. And increasingly liberated Chinese women have found a way to oblige them.

“We can fix it so everything is perfect, so the men can believe they are marrying virgins,” said Zhou Hong, a physician and director of gynecology at the Beijing Wuzhou Women’s Hospital. “We don’t advertise it; we don’t publicize it.”

Zhou, 44, said most of her patients are sexually active young women who are about to marry and have told their future husbands they are virgins. She said a smaller number want to forget a bad relationship and “start over,” and a few have been victims of rape.

Zhou is one of many Chinese doctors performing the procedure, which is also done in other countries. She said she restores as many as 20 hymens a month, and the number is increasing. For as little as 5,000 renminbi, or about $737, for a 20-to-30-minute procedure, Zhou is giving women a second chance at having a first time.

Does she worry that she is encouraging people to start their marriages with a lie? “It’s just a white lie,” Zhou said. And she blames men for having unrealistic expectations.

“I don’t agree with this value” placed on virginity, Zhou said. “It’s unfair to the women. The men are not virgins. But we can’t change this male-privileged society.”

The surgery, known as hymenoplasty, has been around for years, although it is considered rare and is illegal in some countries. It is performed primarily in Muslim countries, where the traditionalists place a high value on a woman’s virginity. It also has become common in France among French Muslims, usually for young women about to enter a traditional marriage. There are no statistics available in China on how often the surgery is performed. But sociologists and other experts, as well as anecdotal evidence, suggest it has gained in popularity.

For women who do not want to have surgery, a cheaper, faster path to “revirgination” is available in most sex novelty shops: a Chinese-made artificial hymen that purports to create a physical sensation for the man and emit fake blood when ruptured.

Good luck trying to buy a kit online! I was going to post a link for everyone but they're all but imaginary.

A 25-year-old woman from Guiyang recently bought several online, intending to resell them to young women in her circle. Some of her friends, she said, were worried that their boyfriends might leave if the truth about their virginity was known.

“It’s really worthless for couples to break up over this small issue,” said the woman, who asked not to be quoted by name.

Some sociologists and others have criticized the virginity obsession as emblematic of a male-dominated society in which women are viewed as sex objects. And they are equally critical of women undergoing potentially dangerous or painful medical procedures to conform.

“I think it is really stupid for women to do this kind of surgery and buying fake hymens,” said Li Yinhe, a sociologist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the country’s preeminent sexologist. “It’s self-deception.”

The virginity topic has surfaced in recent newspaper columns and Internet debates. Several men posting comments on a popular Web site blamed women for what they called modern women’s materialism when seeking a mate.

“Women demand men have houses and cars, why can’t men demand women be virgins?” asked one man on the Tianya site. “So, greedy women, remember, you have to protect your hymens, because those are big dowries for you to exchange for money.”

Some men who were interviewed agreed about the importance of finding a virgin. “I really care about virginity,” said Xia Yang, product manager for a technology company. “If you go to buy a cellphone, of course you’d want to buy a new cellphone. Who would spend the same amount of money to buy an old cellphone that’s been used for two years?”

The virginity debate also underscores a contradiction in modern China: As the nation becomes more freewheeling, there remains a deeply conservative core.

“Since the reforms began 30 years ago, sexual relations in China are actually quite chaotic,” said Chen Lan, a novelist and social commentator. “One-night stands, extramarital affairs, prostitution. . . . All this means Chinese women have more frequent sexual activity, and at a younger and younger age. And this makes men feel women’s bodies are not as clean as before. In these circumstances, men care even more about a woman’s virginity.”

Zhou, the gynecologist, is unruffled by the controversy.

She said that she hears from satisfied clients after they are married, women who text-message her to say that the wedding night was a success.

“That’s the happiest thing for us,” she said.

Researcher Liu Liu in Beijing contributed to this report.

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Female Imams Blaze Trail Amid China’s Muslims – NPR

I thought this story was really fascinating, having just been to China and having studied women’s history.  Normally religion has excluded women from the higher ranks (Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.), but this story shows how women are making a space for themselves in religion, Islam, and in China.

by Louisa Lim

July 21, 2010

Third of five parts

Yao Baoxia is a female ahong, or imam, at Wangjia Hutong Women's Mosque in Kaifeng, in central China. She sits alongside believers during prayers, not in front of them like male imams. She believes male and female imams are equal in their role as teachers and leaders of prayers. Ariana Lindquist for NPR

It is 5:50 in the morning, and dark shadows scurry through narrow alleys to the mosque, as the call to prayer echoes from a minaret in Kaifeng. This city in central China’s Henan province has an Islamic enclave, where Muslims have lived for more than 1,000 years.

In an alleyway called Wangjia hutong, women go to their own mosque, where Yao Baoxia leads prayers. For 14 years, Yao has been a female imam, or ahong as they are called here, a word derived from Persian.

As she leads the service, Yao stands alongside the other women, not in front of them as a male imam would. But she says her role is the same as a male imam.

“The status is the same,” Yao says confidently. “Men and women are equal here, maybe because we are a socialist country.”

“I didn’t go to school when I was small,” she chuckles. “We were all too poor; none of us girls studied. But I came here to play and study. The old imam was very, very old — she was 80-something, and she had bound feet.”

Tang is sitting in the mosque’s washroom as she talks. This is where women conduct ritual ablutions before prayer. This space — and the mosque itself — doubles as a social center for these women, the heart of a community.

In Kaifeng, there are 16 women’s mosques, one-third the number of mosques for males.

Ariana Lindquist for NPR For Bai Yanlian becoming a female imam took seven years of study, including three years of Arabic-language training. She then had to take an exam to get a license from the state.

A Unique Chinese Tradition

Shui Jingjun, of the Henan Academy of Social Sciences and co-author of a book on the phenomenon, says that so far there are no women’s mosques in other countries. In most of the Muslim world, women pray behind a partition or in a separate room, but in the same mosque as men.

Shui points out that the women’s mosques in China are administered independently, by women for women, in addition to being legally separate entities in some cases.

“After reform and opening up [in 1979], some female mosques registered independently, which shows the equality of male and female mosques,” she explains.

Controversy still rages in the Muslim world about whether women can be imams. In 2006, Morocco became the first country in the Arab world to officially sanction the training of female religious leaders.

China is the only country to have such a long history of female imams. However, there are things that, according to the customary practices of Chinese Muslims, female imams can’t do.

They can’t, for instance, lead funeral rituals or wash male corpses.

Forty miles away in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, white-sashed mourners wail as they process through the streets carrying the coffin from a mosque. No female imams are participating.

Ariana Lindquist for NPR Women pray at a the Wangjia mosque in Kaifeng. There are 16 women's mosques in the city, one-third the number of mosques serving male Muslims.

Opposition Still Exists To Women’s Roles

In central China, most Muslims support the female mosques, but there is some resistance closer to China’s border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, closer to the harder-line Wahhabi and Salafi influences.

“Historically in northwestern China, there were no female mosques,” says Shui, the researcher. “There was resistance because people thought that building female mosques was against the rules of religion. But in central China and most provinces, people think it’s a good innovation for Islam.”

In the past decade, some women’s mosques have been established in northwest China. The phenomenon appears to be spreading, helped politically by the Islamic Association of China, a state-controlled body that regulates Islam and issues licenses to practice to male and female imams alike.

Greatest Challenge Is Economic

In the women’s mosques, most of the faithful are elderly. Young women with families often don’t have the time to worship, especially given the lengthy purification rituals several times a day.

Third-generation imam Sun Chengying, who has been practicing for 21 years, worries about the future.

“I haven’t had any students since 1996,” she says, shaking her head. “Women don’t want be imams anymore, because the salaries in the mosques are too low. No one is willing to do it.”

Female imams sometimes earn as little as $40 a month, one-third of what can be earned in other jobs. Younger women need to earn more to support their families.

And so it appears the future of female imams in China is threatened — not by the state, not by resistance from inside Islam, but by the forces of market economics.

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Foxconn Worker Suicides

I’m finally back from China and now able to write on my blog!  I have some exciting and interesting blog posts to share in the near future.  Hold your horses.

In China I learned about the idea of “saving face.”  This idea of preventing embarrassment and shame governs most actions.  Our guidebooks even instructed us to not publicly embarrass a Chinese person, as it was a grave offense to do so.

Worker conditions in China aren’t so great either and the concept of fair trade is just emerging.  Combined with the Chinese work ethic and their need to save face, many workers, like those at Taiwanese company Foxconn, commit suicide in response to the intense pressure to succeed, poor working conditions, and just plain life struggles.

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This Wall Street Journal article elaborates on the current situation at Foxconn, “the world’s largest contract maker of electronic gadgets for brands such as Apple and Hewlett-Packard,” where eleven workers (900,000 total) have committed suicide by jumping to their deaths at work.  2 other workers attempted suicide but were unsuccessful.  In response to this suicide cluster, the company has put up nets around the building to prevent jumpers.

Shen/Bloomberg Workers walk outside Hon Hai Group's Foxconn plant in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China, on Wednesday, May 26, 2010. Gou said nine of the 11 company workers who either committed suicide or attempted to had worked at the company less than a year, and six had been employed for less than a half-year.

The opinion piece from Wall Street Journal encourages readers to view the story holistically by examining the cultural factors that influenced the deaths.  I agree with many of the points they listed:

“Foxconn’s factory employees tend to join the company at the age of 18 or 19, and stay for several years. So the atmosphere in its dormitories is akin to that of a large university, with the workers living away from home for the first time and encountering the usual new experiences…

China is in the midst of the largest and most rapid process of urbanization the world has ever seen. The creation of a “mass society” is often accompanied by adjustment difficulties, and the national suicide rate—14 per 100,000—is high by international standards. China’s rural youth often can’t rely on the support of parents, since that generation has little conception of the world their child is entering.

It’s true that Foxconn has done itself no favors with its past conduct. A young manager killed himself last July after an Apple iPhone prototype went missing, and his final messages to friends suggest he had been interrogated and beaten. In a separate incident the following month, the company confirmed its guards beat employees after the incident was caught on video. In 2006, after a Chinese newspaper reported that employees were being abused, a charge that was later shown to be false, Foxconn sued the two reporters personally and sought to have their assets frozen, provoking a public backlash against the company.”

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As joked about on Colbert Report (6:42), Foxconn has allegedly required workers to sign a “no-suicide pledge,” according to this NY Daily News article.  “The signed pledge also allows the company to send those displaying “abnormal emotional outbreaks” to psychiatric institutions, according to Taiwan’s CTI cable TV channel,” a 21-year-old employee told the South China Morning Post.

According to China Daily, Foxconn also raised its minimum wage this week from 900 yuan to 1,200 yuan per month (6.7 yuan to 1 US dollar) in all its mainland plants starting in June.

Bloomberg had a really fascinating article which included workers’ comments and a summary of the positive and negative conditions at Foxconn.  Read more here.

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