A subtle defacement of the website of electronics manufacturer Foxconn has drawn further attention to an alarming spate of worker suicides at a plant in southern China.
Nine of the workers at a Shenzen plant where iPhones and other hi-tech kit is assembled have killed themselves this year, with a further two unsuccessful suicide attempts. In a satirical response, Foxconn's human resources site was hacked with a spoof 'We're Hiring' notice. A translation of the Chinese-language defacement by Shanghaiist reads:
Foxconn -- We're Hiring
Are you feeling down today? Do you feel like not living anymore? Do you want to know what it feels like to jump down from China's model suicide jumping facility? Foxconn provides you the perfect environment to jump.
All the many reasons to jump here have ensured at least one jump per week.
Comprehensive press coverage guaranteed. to ensure your name travels ten thousand miles.
What are you waiting for? Pick up your phone now and join Foxconn.
Be the kickass twelfth jumper.
You can do it.
Hiring hotline: 514514514
The number "514" that is repeated three times in the "hiring hotline" sounds like the Chinese for "I want to die", Shanghaiist (via fastcompany.com) adds. The defacement itself was not on the home page of Foxconn's site.
It's unclear who tampered with the site, much less how they posted the spoof notice but it's safe to say that the hack was much more subtle and sophisticated than the great majority of defacements. The site runs IIS 5 on a Windows 2000 platform.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the head of Foxconn hosted international journalists on a tour of the controversial Shenzen facility where 300,000 live and work on Tuesday as part of a bid to assuage suspicions that workers at the factory are being ill-treated. Attempts to paint the facility in a favourable light have not been helped by local reports that workers are getting asked to sign promises not to kill themselves or that the firm has placed safety nets around high buildings in order to prevent staff jumping to their deaths, the BBC reports.
Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard all said they were investigating working conditions at Foxconn, the Financial Times adds. ®