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Nintendo investigates Foxconn suicides

Wii manufacturer joins growing list of major companies concerned over working conditions

Nintendo has entered the growing row over suicides at the main Chinese plant of Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn.

The main plant in Shenzhen employs over 350,000, mostly migrant, staff. Since January 2010 there have been 12 attempted suicides and 10 deaths, most involving staff jumping from roofs.

Foxconn produces a wide range of consumer electronics including the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Amazon Kindle, Dell and Intel motherboards; and the Mac mini, iPod, iPhone and iPad for Apple.

As a result of the latter Apple has so far been the Western company most closely involved in the controversy and has promised to investigate accusations of long working hours and sweat shop style conditions and work practices.

According to The Times business section Sony, Hewlett-Packard and Dell have also launched their own investigations, with Nintendo now joining them.

Nintendo and the other firms all have their own guidelines for working conditions at outsourced factories, but it is unclear how closely or regularly these have been monitored.

As a result of the adverse publicity parent company Hon Hai Precision Instruments has said that it will raise salaries in all its mainland Chinese factories by 20 per cent. The basic monthly salary at the Shenzhen plant is currently the equivalent of just £90 ($131/€106).

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