A 14 year old boy was found dead in the dormitory of a Chinese factory that produces products for Taiwanese tech giant Asus.
According to city officials, Liu Fuzong died in his dorm room on May 21. His body had turned cold by the time it was discovered by a coworker, he was eventually pronounced dead at a hospital in Guangdong.
Chinese labor laws forbid factories from employing workers younger than 16. Liu, however, was sent to the factory through a third-party labor dispatch company that used the identification of an older worker to register his employment, according to the city’s local human resources office.
Authorities have been unable to find the labor dispatch company, but the city has already punished the factory for employing underage labor in this case.
The factory, which is listed as a facility from Taiwanese electronics supplier 3CEMS, builds products for PC maker Asus, according to New York-based China Labor Watch, which has been investigating the incident.
An Asus product manager said on Friday via email that the company holds the highest ethical standards and has sent representatives to investigate. She didn’t confirm or deny that the factory in question builds products for Asus.
According to Li Qiang, of China Labour Watch: “Workers say the child died of exhaustion. Every day there is overtime, adults can’t even take it, so how can children?”
In October, Foxconn was accused of employing children as young as 14 in factories in northern China. Foxconn has been criticised for its over-reliance on young interns as it struggles to retain workers.
[Image credit: Robert Scoble]