Riot Breaks Out At iPhone5 Foxconn Factory
A riot at has broken reportedly broken out a factory owned by Foxconn, the company famous for its production of Apple gadgets.
Reports early Monday from China suggest that a mass disturbance or riots may have broken out at a Foxconn factory in the Chinese city of Taiyuan.
It is still unclear what exactly happened, but posts on China’s popular twitter-like service, Weibo, from users in the area show photographs and video of large numbers of police in and around the factory – many in riot gear – blocking off throngs of people.
There’s some suggestion that the fracas — which involved up to 2000 people — was the result of a guard hitting a worker.
Chinese corporations have been getting creamed lately on rising costs and slowing top-line sales. Any sign that worker unrest is creating problems (that might require higher pay) will further their pain.
Update: We are seeing unofficial reports claiming the “2,000-people” riot was triggered by security guards hitting a worker at 10pm local time.
Update 2: According to a provincial website, Foxconn’s Taiyuan industrial park focuses on magnesium alloy components for consumer electronics, heat conduction products, LED lighting products, mobile phone products and magnesium alloy automotive components.
Update 3: An undercover report from August mentioned that the Taiyuan plant processed the back casing of the iPhone 5. It also highlighted the company’s harsh management as well as “practically compulsory” over-time work. We don’t doubt that this riot escalated due to dissatisfaction over working conditions.
Update 4: Unsurprisingly, the original Sina Weibo posts have since been deleted. At the time of publication, the author had already noticed that some of the photos were already being censored by Sina. However, the photos over at Baidu Tieba are still intact.
Update 5: Well this is interesting. Foxconn has told Reuters that there was “a fight among workers from different production lines,” but the company’s spokesperson said they’re “still investigating the cause of the fight and the number of people involved.” An official statement will be released on Monday.
Update 6: The Next Web has heard that there were no deaths in the incident. Here’s hoping those 40 injured people will recover quickly.
Update 7: Foxconn has told CNET that production has resumed today.
Update 8: Reuters spoke to some employees who confirmed the fight between guards and workers. This wouldn’t be the first time the two sides clashed in a Foxconn facility.