Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturing giant that works with companies like Apple, Samsung and Sony, has confirmed that it is being investigated on charges of bribery by Chinese authorities. At least one of Foxconn’s employees has been detained after being accused of accepting bribes from suppliers.
The bribery case was first reported by Next Magazine, a Taiwan-based news magazine. The investigation involves a Foxconn unit responsible for purchasing surface-mount technology equipment and components. A Shenzhen, China-based executive at the unit was detained in September after he allegedly took bribes.
According to the China Times (link via Google Translate), Foxconn’s own internal investigation is taking a look at more than 10 employees who may be involved in the case. In the meantime, the company has also stopped working with suppliers who may be involved. Foxconn announced that it has already began adjusting its purchasing procedures and taking steps to ensure a similar scandal does not reoccur. In an emailed statement, a Foxconn Technology Group spokesperson said:
“We can confirm that we are working with law enforcement officials who we brought in to work with our own internal audit team as part of an investigation into allegations against a number of Foxconn employees related to illegal payments from supply chain partners. Since the matter is under investigation, we are not able to comment further. However, we can say that the integrity of our employees is something we take very seriously and any employees found guilty of any illegal actions or violations of our company’s Code of Conduct will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We are also carrying out a full review of our policies and practices to identify steps we can take to strengthen such measures to further mitigate against such actions.”
Other high-profile controversies Foxconn has weathered include accusations of poor labor conditions and a string of suicides by workers at Foxconn factories across China (which the company responded to by installing large nets).