Foxconn, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of electronic goods with clients like Apple, Dell and HP has had to temporarily shut a factory in Taiyuan, China after a huge riot occurred among some 1,000 workers. The New York Times notes that about 79,000 staff toil inside this particular Foxconn establishment and that around 5,000 police were needed to stop the riot.
Engadget has pulled together different sources of information on the site, and points out that the only Apple component made in Taiyuan is the metallic back face of the new iPhone–the secret to its thinness and lightness. The factory is also said to make magnesium alloy components for electronics and cars, heat conduction products, LED lighting products and mobile phone parts.
The source of the riot hasn’t been pinned down, but Foxconn’s latest statement suggests it was between employees on two different production lines. Foxconn has been in the world’s media glare for some time due to allegations of high suicide rates among its staff and ill treatment, including forced overtime and low wages. Apple has worked with Foxconn to improve worker conditions, and is rumored to have bankrolled pay rises. Other reports, highlighting the complexity of understanding the situation from an outside-China viewpoint note that electronics manufacturing is a very promising prospect to many young Chinese because of its relatively high wages.KE