Reuters on Wednesday reported that the employee, Danyong Sun, jumped to his death from his 12th-floor apartment a day after sending text messages to his girlfriend and to a former classmate about his growing frustration over the investigation into the disappearance of a prototype of a new version of the iPhone.
Taiwan-based Hon Hai, which is also known by its trade name Foxconn, is Apple's contract manufacturer for the iPhone. The manufacturing is done in China.
Sun, a China-based engineer, became the subject of an investigation when that prototype, one of 16 prototypes of Apple's fourth-generation N90 iPhones, went missing.
Hon Hai also produces products for a wide range of well-known manufacturers around the world on a contract basis, including Apple, Cisco, Dell, Nokia and Sony, according to financial analyst firm Hoovers.
There are concerns in the Chinese and international press about how Hon Hai handles security related to its manufacturing customers.
The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday said that Hon Hai has suspended a security official who had questioned Sun before his suicide, and that the company has acknowledged media reports in China that there are concerns about possible mistreatment of Sun during the investigation.
James Lee, chief commerce officer for Hon Hai in China, said that Hon Hai "never authorized anyone to conduct any moves beyond the law," according to the Journal.
The Wall Street Journal also said that a statement from Hon Hai said that the company acknowledged internal management problems regardless of whatever caused Sun's suicide.
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