August 13, 2007

Fisher-Price Factory Owner Kills His Lead-Painting Self

evil_dora_afp-getty.jpgSo a freelance reporter staged a story about Beijing pork buns being stuffed with soggy cardboard, not pork, and he gets sentenced to a year in prison for, as the Associated Press quotes it, "infringing on the reputation of a commodity." Serious stuff.

What could the punishment be, then, for infringing on the reputations of valuable Western intellectual property such as Dora, Elmo and Big Bird, not to mention Fisher-Price and Mattel? That's right: suicide.

Zhang Shuhong, co-owner of the Guangdong-based Lee Der Industrial Co. Ltd., which manufactured the nearly 1 million Fisher-Price toys recalled last month for lead contamination, hung himself over the weekend.

"It is common for disgraced officials to commit suicide in China," reports the AP matter-of-factly. Probably not common enough for the liking of some toy execs; the Thomas The Tank Engine factory owner's still around, as is Zhang's partner, and his "best friend" who supplied the tainted pigment. Maybe they thought, like I did, that loss-of-face-based suicides were more a Japanese thing, and that China's style was, you know, public shaming, kangaroo court, prison camp, kidney harvesting, and summary execution.

China toy boss kills self after recall [ap/yahoo via dt hk correspondent, scott]
awesome Dora-as-Chuckie file photo: AFP/Getty
Previously: Get the hell away from my kid, Diego! You're full of lead!

1 Comment

I have a colleague who practiced medicine in China. They set up large OR tents on the parade grounds used for executions and do mass organ harvests immediately after shooting the poor souls in the head. The decedents family is then mailed a bill for the bullet...

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