Foxconn, the company best known for suicidal workers, terrible working conditions, and building anything and everything Apple, had to shut down one its assembly plants today because of a supposed riot that took place late Sunday night (local time).
According to a quote from Foxconn via Chinese web portal Sina.com, the plant was closed on Monday to allow employees to cool off. It is still unclear exactly what kicked off a protest Sunday night and early into Monday morning, but Chinese media speculates that it might have been caused by a security guard beating a regular plant employee. Supposedly, after the employee was beat-up by the security guard, his fellow workers, numbering up to 2000, became enraged and started to trash the Foxconn Taiyuan campus. The riot started at around 11pm Sunday night spilling over to 3am Monday.
Photos published by Sina.com show that during the riot, an on-campus supermarket, some gates and a bus was damaged by rioters. It is reported that over 11 fights took place throughout the night and that the rioting didn’t stop until local police were called to the scene. Over 10 people were injured, some reports state that at least 10 people are dead as a result of the riots.
Foxconn’s Taiyuan plant is reported to be responsible for the assembly and manufacturing of various auto parts as well as the newly released iPhone 5. There are over 79000 employees at the plant. This isn’t Foxconn’s first riot; earlier this year, Foxconn’s Chengdu plant in Sichuan province also experienced a similar situation. The Chengdu riot also ended when local police were called to the scene.
Currently there are over 2000 local police staff on hand at the Foxconn Taiyuan plant to “ensure the peace”.
Update: The Associated Press is now reporting that over 40 people were injured during last night’s riot. Yahoo News also reports that there are now over 5000 police officers at Foxconn’s Taiyuan plant.