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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: May 31, 2010 NO. 22 JUNE 3, 2010

Embattled Tycoon


Terry Gou, Chairman of Foxconn Technology Group, apologized and pledged better welfare for workers on May 26 after a string of employee suicides.

At least 12 employees in Foxconn's Shenzhen plant in south China's Guangdong Province attempted to kill themselves as of May 26 this year. Ten died and two were severely injured. The suicides have triggered widespread criticism of Foxconn's allegedly inhumane management style.

Gou promised the company would do everything possible to prevent more deaths. "I cannot guarantee that similar deaths will not happen again, but we are doing our utmost to look after and care more for our staff," he said when meeting the media in Shenzhen.

Gou, 59, is ranked as the richest person in Taiwan in the Forbes magazine list of the world's billionaires, with a fortune of $5.5 billion.

Foxconn is part of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which was founded by Gou in 1974. It is now the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronics and computer components, occupying the 109th spot among the Fortune Top 500 companies in 2009. The company employs more than 800,000 mainland workers.

New CIC Managers

Peng Chun (CFP)

Fan Yifei(IMG)

The Board of Directors of the China Investment Corp. (CIC), the country's $200-billion sovereign wealth fund, has appointed Peng Chun and Fan Yifei executive vice presidents. Fan was also assigned to the post of deputy chief operating officer.

Peng, 48, holds a doctor's degree in economics. He joined the Bank of Communications in January 1994 and was promoted to vice president of the bank in September 2004. Before that, he was assistant president of the bank, after serving as branch president in Urumqi, Nanning and Guangzhou. He quit all his posts in the bank in April.

Fan, 46, also holds a doctor's degree in economics. He was executive vice president of China Construction Bank between July 2005 and May this year. Before that, he successively served as general manager of the Finance and Accounting Department and the Planning and Finance Department and as assistant president of the bank.

Swinger Professor Jailed


Ma Yaohai, an associate professor at Nanjing University of Technology, has been sentenced on May 20 to three-and-a-half years imprisonment for organizing group sex parties.

The Qinhuai District People's Court in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, convicted Ma and 21 other people on charges of group licentiousness and sentenced 19 of them to various jail terms. They are the first people in 20 years to be given criminal penalties for the crime.

"Ringleaders and persons who repeatedly take part in licentious activities shall be sentenced to fixed terms of imprisonment of no more than five years, criminal detention or public surveillance," says Article 301 of China's Criminal Law.

The court found the 14 men and eight women guilty of engaging in dozens of group sexual activities from 2007 to 2009 after making contact via the Internet.

Ma, 53, admitted the facts, but argued that, as all the defendants were voluntary adult participants, they were not guilty of any criminal activities.

"China must further adapt to the change from a source of migrants into a recipient of immigrants and seize time to optimize its legal migration framework."

Huang Xing, Deputy Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Experts on migration are advising the government to learn from experience abroad about regulating immigration

"The policies we have implemented, the measures and actions we have taken and the effects of our efforts are there for all to see."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu, refuting U.S. Congressmen's criticism of China's failure to crack down on intellectual property rights infringements

"This is the first time any synthetic DNA has been in complete control of a cell. I think they're going to potentially create a new industrial revolution."

Dr. Craig Venter, geneticist, on his creation of the world's first synthetic living cell. Venter hopes to design cells that will produce medicines, reduce oil dependency and absorb greenhouse gases

"We can immediately fix the roads, but we do not know how long it will take to fix the wounded hearts and minds of the people."

Sukhumbhand Paribatra, Governor of Bangkok, after government troops ended two-month anti-government protests in Thailand's capital city

"The snow along the slopes had melted, exposing the bare rocks underneath, which made it very difficult for us to walk up the slope as there was no snow to dig our crampons into. This has made the trail very dangerous for all climbers."

Apa Sherpa, a Nepalese Sherpa, speaking to Agence France-Presse on May 25 after breaking his own record by making a 20th ascent of the world's highest peak. The man dedicated his latest climb to the impact of global warming on the Himalayas

"We want to do it at the right time and in the right format."

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah, attributing Gulf states' pause in their push toward a monetary union due to the Eurozone crisis

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