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Payout given in China iPhone case

28 July 09 10:58 GMT

A Taiwanese firm which makes products for Apple in China is to pay a "condolence payment" to the family of an employee who committed suicide.

Sun Danyong killed himself after an iPhone prototype went missing from the company where he worked in Shenzhen.

The 25-year-old college graduate was suspected of stealing the prototype.

Foxconn will pay Mr Sun's family a lump sum of more than $52,000. A spokesman told the BBC it was not accurate to describe the money as compensation.

As well as the one-off payment, Foxconn will also pay Mr Sun's parents about $4,400 a year for the rest of their lives.

Investigation launched

Before his death, Mr Sun told friends he had been beaten up by security staff at Foxconn, one of Apple's largest manufacturers. Foxconn has launched an investigation.

Apple said it was saddened by the death and is waiting for the results of the investigation.

As part of his job, Mr Sun was responsible for shipping iPhone prototypes to Apple.

Such prototypes are a closely guarded secret, as Apple likes to keep its new products and upgrades under wraps until their launch date, to heighten customer anticipation.

But on 13 July, Mr Sun reported that he was missing one of the 16 units in his possession.

The company immediately launched an investigation into the disappearance; three days later Mr Sun had jumped to his death off a 12-storey building.

His former classmates told Chinese newspapers that during the firm's investigation he was beaten, his house was searched and he was locked up alone in a room.

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