Foxconn, a Chinese manufacturer of high-end electronics including the iPhone, will no longer make “condolence” payments to the families of workers who commit suicide. Ten workers at its vast factory killed themselves this year, a phenomenon blamed on working conditions. Now the company contends that its practice of paying the family 10 years’ salary (usually some $16,000) is a motive. One official claims there’s evidence that in at least one case where a worker attempted suicide, he told his family they would receive a large amount in compensation if he took his own life. Instead, it plans to raise salaries by some 70 per cent which has sparked criticism from other Chinese manufacturers who fear it will skew the made-in-China price advantage. At an annual meeting yesterday it said it may replace employees with robots, building a fully automated assembly line in Taiwan. This suggestion is somewhat ironic, given recent Foxconn factory workers’ complaints that they “felt like robots” when performing their duties.