100 counselors and Buddhist monks were hired by the Taiwanese company that manufactures iPhones for Apple to reduce stress among its workers after reported cases of suicides at it Chinese factories this year.

The Hon Hai Group, also known as Foxconn Technology, is the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronics.

The company has had at least seven employee suicides reported this year. Foxconn spokesman Edmund Ding declined to comment on the reason for the suicides.

However, the company plans to work more closely with local governments and academic institutions to support its 800,000 workers in China.

The measures include the establishment of an emotional support hotline and prayers from Buddhist monks, which have prevented more than 30 suicide attempts, according to the company.

Geoffrey Crothall, communications director at the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin commented that the suicides were not just related to Foxconn employees only but it affects young workers in factories all over China due to work pressures.

The deaths underscore the need to improve the quality of life for Chinese factory workers, say groups including China Labour Watch and China Labour Bulletin.

In another case, France Telecom, Europe's third-largest phone operator, replaced its chief executive this year after labour unions blamed management for driving more than 30 employees to suicide since 2008.