THE WRAP: The Foxconn suicides, an Apple milestone

Robert Clark
28 May 2010

This week the Foxconn grappled with worker suicides, and another milestone for Apple.

Contract manufacturer Foxconn considering hiking workers’ wages as the spate of suicides in its Shenzhen plants continued unabated. A public apology from chairman Terry Gou appeared to have no effect.

In a sign of the times, Apple overtook Microsoft to become the world’s biggest tech company by market cap. The US Department of Justice made early inquiries about possible anti-competitive behavior by Apple in the online music market.

State-owned Indian telco BSNL blocked Huawei and ZTE from bidding for $426 million in GSM contracts, citing a government directive.

Most of the 11.7 million Android handsets sold have been to US buyers, while two-thirds of the 27 million iPhones sold have been outside the US, according to AdMob.

Nearly half of Hong Kong’s mobile users has a smartphone – twice the global average.

AT&T is encroaching on BlackBerry’s turf, revealing that 40% of new iPhone sales to business users. Lenovo’s quarterly profit was less than half analysts’ forecasts, thanks to heavy spending in the handset market.

Bids at India’s broadband wireless auction reached $890 million. Sify, an Indian data center operator and ISP, won the rights to land the new GBI cable linking the Gulf states to Mumbai.

New York-based Allied Fiber began building a $690 million dark fiber network across the US.

Telecom New Zealand weighed the sale of its fixed-line arm in order to take part in the state-funded high-speed broadband scheme.

China’s State Council once more reviewed the country’s much-delayed Telecom Law.

Temasek lost its appeal in the Indonesian Supreme Court over mobile price-fixing.

German authorities and Google were at a standoff over a disk containing personal data collected by Google’s Street View program.

Google said it had helped add $54 billion in value to the US economy last year.

Robbie Bach, Microsoft’s entertainment chief and the prime mover behind the Xbox, said he would step down.

Yahoo and Nokia struck an alliance to combat Google and Apple in content, mapping and mobiles.

A £143 million ($209m) writedown on pension liabilities flattened Cable & Wireless Worldwide’s result, its first since the breakup of the old C&W.

Ghana’s Consumer Protection Association organized a six-hour mobile boycott to protest poor service quality.

IBM bought B2B transaction firm Sterling Commerce for $1.4 billion. Pace became the world’s biggest set-top maker.

Australian customs officers were given the power to search incoming travelers' laptops and mobile phones for explicit content.

And Bulgarian cellco Mobitel retired the number 0888 888 888 after its three successive owners died suddenly.

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