BEIJING?A worker at an affiliate of technology giant Foxconn died Tuesday in south China after falling from a dorm building, state media said, after a spate of similar deaths hit the Taiwanese firm this year.
Foxconn -- which assembles Apple's iPhone -- has seen a series of suicides in its Chinese plants this year that has put the spotlight on conditions for millions of factory workers in the "workshop of the world".
A total of 11 Chinese employees have committed suicide this year at Foxconn plants by jumping from buildings, including 10 in the southern city of Shenzhen.
It was unclear whether the latest death was also suicide.
The official Xinhua news agency said the 18-year-old fell from the sixth floor of a building belonging to Chimei Innolux Corp.
Co-workers said the young man was an intern from the northern province of Hebei and had only started the summer job in Foshan city last month, the report said.
Xinhua said the local government and police had confirmed the death and a manager at Foxconn in Shenzhen, which is not far from Foshan, also verified the information. The cause of death is being investigated.
A spokeswoman for Chimei told Dow Jones Newswires that the worker was not directly employed by the firm but by an outsourced human resources company.
Labor rights activists have blamed suicides at Foxconn -- the world's largest maker of computer components and a supplier to leading brands such as Dell and Nokia -- on tough working conditions in its factories.
But company founder Terry Gou has said none of the suicides was directly work-related and that he was cleared by Chinese authorities of any wrongdoing in the period up to the suicides.
Foxconn, which employs an estimated 400,000 workers in Shenzhen alone, has reacted to the suicides by giving its staff there a pay rise of 67 percent, to 2,000 yuan (around 290 US dollars) a month, effective from October 1.
The company has also announced it will upgrade dormitories in Shenzhen in a bid to prevent more suicides.