LAWFUEL – The head of a Chinese toy manufacturing company at the center of a huge U.S. recall has committed suicide, a state-run newspaper said Monday.
The New York Times reports that Zhang Shuhong, who ran the Lee Der Industrial Co. Ltd., killed himself at a warehouse over the weekend, days after China announced it had temporarily banned exports by the company, the Southern Metropolis Daily said.
Lee Der made 967,000 toys recalled earlier this month by Mattel Inc. because they were made with paint found to have excessive amounts of lead. The plastic preschool toys, sold under the Fisher-Price brand in the U.S., included the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters.
The newspaper said that a supplier, Zhang’s best friend, sold Lee Der fake paint that was used in the toys.
”The boss and the company were harmed by the paint supplier, the closest friend of our boss,” a manager surnamed Liu was quoted as saying.
Liu said Zhang hung himself on Saturday, according to the report. It is common for disgraced officials to commit suicide in China.