A tragedy related to iPhone

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(CNET) Chinese authorities probe iPhone worker’s death

(PCWorld) iPhone Suicide Case Spotlights Tech’s Dark Side

Apparently many foreign media can not understand why a guy will jump off the building just because the iPhone he was in charge went missing? Well, it appears to me there are two factors:

1) It’s very very hard to get a good job for new graduates in China these days. Thus they join Foxconn, the “sweater shop” if you will. Not much rights once you join that shop. I suggest my western friends go there once and get some real world experience on sweater shop before express their views.

2) He was tortured. Again remember Foxconn is a “sweater shop” happens making iPhone.

My thoughts: whatever (lame thing) Apple or Foxconn wants to say, they can not bring the young life back, sadly. So for people happen to work in those unfortunate places, due to economy recession/have to support a family, make sure talk over to friends (psychological help) and seek legal help if you are treated unfairly.

In more broader terms, I believe that work/job/career occupies more important space in young people’s lives in China than in the US. Life is more than work, not to mention the stupid iPhone. I think my countrymen should enjoy lives more as economy develops. After all, we work so that we can enjoy lives (family), not the other way around.

Disclosure: No Apple stock position. I traded (bought and sold) it early this year.

Why Asian countries subsidize semiconductor industry?

I have been thinking this thing for a while. I know Taiwan has 6 memory chip manufacturing companies, and it has invested billions of dollar in those plants. Korea has two big ones: SamSung and Hynix, both are much bigger than the Taiwanese memory chip companies. A while ago I read from WSJ that the goverment was thinking about invest some money in those companies, and combine some of them, so that they will have a chance to compete against the foreign rivals.

The subsidy from Taiwanese government is not alone. I believe both Korean and Chinese government subsisized heavily in manufacturing plants owned by SamSung, Intel, SMI (Semiconductor Manufacturing International), etc. Actually, if we broaden the semiconductor concept a little, I know Asian government subsizied hard drive makers too (Seagate in China, for instance). I read one report Seagate is one of the biggest exporter of China.

Back to my original question, I already gave the hint: it’s mostly about jobs. Asia is full of human resources (labor). The employment is a big issue for government at all levels. I heard sometimes local governments in different areas bid up each other in terms of “sweetner” (tax rebate, lower land cost) to get a foreign plant built.

This is understandable, and it’s ok if done moderately. The problem is, in some cases, like the Taiwanese memory chip, essentially it’s a razor-thin profit business (if there is any profit at all). When an economy downturn (like this one) came, the business will fail.

Appendix: response of former colleague of Mr. Sun, who passed away in this iPhone incident. (in Chinese, use Google translate if necessary)
    这款手机才开始就一直风波不断,iPhone girl等,没想到这新的一代又沾上了无辜者的鲜血。心情很复杂。

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