Foxconn riot shuts down China factory for a day

Foxconn riot shuts down China factory for a day

Summary: A fight which involved 2,000 workers and left at least 40 injured forces Foxconn to close its Taiyuan facilities for investigation.


A riot between workers at Foxconn's Taiyuan factory in northwest China has caused the company to temporarily shut down operations there for a day.

According to Reuters, a personal dispute between several Foxconn employees broke out into a riot late Sunday night. The riot involved 2,000 workers and 40 were sent to hospital for medical attention, the report noted.

Citing Foxconn, the report said the personal dispute in a privately-managed dormitory escalated at around 11 p.m. on Sunday. However, local police brought the situation under control at around 3 a.m, the company said.

"The cause of this dispute is under investigation by local authorities and we are working closely with them in this process, but it appears not to have been work-related," Foxconn said.

Local news site Sohu Finance said the riot involved Foxconn employees and security guards. While the actual reason for the riot was unknown, rumors suggest it started because a security guard had beat up an employee which caused the dissatisfaction of other employees, the news site said.

Chinese news site Sohu IT included photos of the riot from early morning which showed broken windows of the dormitory, campus supermarket and bus.

Reuters noted that the Taiyuan plant employs about 79,000 workers and makes automobile electronic components, consumer electronic components and precision moldings. The news agency learned from an employee that the plant also makes parts and assembles Apple's iPhone 5.

Topics: IT Employment, Hardware, China

Liau Yun Qing

About Liau Yun Qing

The only journalist in the team without a Western name, Yun Qing hails from the mountainy Malaysian state, Sabah. She currently covers the hardware and networking beats, as well as everything else that falls into her lap, at ZDNet Asia. Her RSS feed includes tech news sites and most of the Cheezburger network. She is also a cheapskate masquerading as a group-buying addict.

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  • don't foxconn also make xbox, nokia phones, ipads etc

    story only mentioned iphone i think.
    • I guess you missed this part...

      "...makes automobile electronic components, consumer electronic components and precision moldings."
  • Foxconn riot shuts down China factory for a day

    in the 70's, this kind of behaviour was the reason why the nascent electronic industry in the philippines collapsed. businessmen don't respect people whose attitude towards their businesses differs from their perspective. they are there for the money, and anything that can jeopardize that single-minded goal is enough to drive them away! social justice and profit normally don't go hand in hand... they are always at loggerheads with each other!
    • Nomenklatura

      Yeah, a system of social justice is always better, especially for the Social Justifiers, who in the course of telling everyone else what they can have and what they can't, make sure that the Social Justifiers get theirs first.
      Robert Hahn
      • Can't tell what you are saying

        All I walk away from that statement is that you have strong opions about something!

        Are you aying that Business men tell people what they can have and make sure they get it first (which they do), or that people interested in social justice make sure they get theirs first (which they demonstrably do not).

        I challenge any anti-worker anti-socialist to prove that people interested in social justice are some kind of organized lobby group that "get theirs first".

        There are several categories of actual people working for actual social justice.

        1. Workers in oppresive conditions. These are a long tradition going back, workers such as children, slaves who were forced to work in very poor and dangerous conditions for very low remuneration. These people are self interested, and are arguing for better conditions for themselves. If anyone thinks there is anything wrong with this, please explain.

        2. People of more fortunate backgrounds who advocate for those in category 1. These people are usually poorly paid by the standards of their education (if I was a social worker, I would earn half of what I currently make, even here in "socialist" Canada). These people are also extremely fragmented, have no overarching body to act on their behalf, and have no funding to speak of - when compared to the wealth of the companies and countries that have poor social justice records.

        On the other side, we have Republicans, big business and their ilk, who are (on average) well off to extremely wealthy. They are clearly also fighting for their own self interest (keeping and growing what they already have). They are organized (into companies and associations). They do directly lobby government, spending billions. They fund political parties (esp. the Tea Party) in the billions. They even have (paid) astroturfers on most social media outlets to propgate "the message" and keep discourse from appearing one sided against them, using the "move the goalposts" technique, and "moving the middle" by arguing for extremes as if there was any validity to them.

        So thanks Robert Hahn. Your contribution is recognized for what it is.
        • Ignorant to the max!!!

          Social justice is not about political affiliations or about someone getting his or a group getting theirs.

          It's about doing the right thing, as exemplified by the prevalent cultural ideologies of the times and places.

          As a republican, I'm very far from being rich or even well-off. And most republicans I know, are not rich or well-off.

          What you have is a very ignorant stereotypical form of thinking, which is gained by living in denial and living in your ideological bubble.

          As an example, the tea party people I know, including myself, have absolutely no funding coming from any party organization, nor from any government agency. The opposite is true for the "occupy wall street" movement, which was an idea organized and funded by the democratic party, in an attempt to counter the influence of the "tea party". The tea party is an idea of the people, while the occupy movement is an idea from an organized political party.

          As a former democrat, I can very well relate to the reasons that people feel some attachment to the democratic party, but, as I grew older and wiser, I learned that, the promises of the democratic party are as empty as the results of all of their policies of the past, which failed miserably to lift out of poverty those that they purportedly were trying to help, an in fact, those groups have progressively gone backwards towards dependence on government programs and into deeper poverty.

          Pitting the "little people" against the "big, bad republicans", and against the "big, bad corporations", is always regressive, and counterproductive, because, whether you like it or not, and whether those "little people" like it or not, the only way to lift people out of poverty and out of misery and out of dependence, is to create an economy which lifts everybody, including the rich and the middle-class and poor. Without the rich, you end up with third world countries, where every shares equally the misery that results. Without the rich and well-off and the entrepreneur class, you won't find people with money to invest, and you won't find companies being created, and you won't find companies growing, and you won't find companies creating the jobs which the poor and middle-class need in order to get out of the holes they're in.

          Doing what socialism demands, is the same as destruction of an economy and a country, and that is precisely what we're witnessing all around the world, after the creeping socialism started, slowly but surely, having the detrimental effects that it always does. No country that adopts socialism is EVER successful, and, even if it takes time, sometimes decades, the result is always the same, and then, the people, just like you, will end up blaming the wrong evils for the conditions they find themselves in. The socialism in Canada will eventually catch up to it, and it will end up with the same dire conditions as you'll notice in many European countries and now in the U.S.

          As a former democrat, a liberal one at that, I had to learn to be a lot more analytical before realizing the error of the ways of the democrats. I still want social justice, and I would like for everyone to be successful, but, since this is the real world, with far too many people not willing to put in what they want to get out, we will have unequal outcomes, and that is something that no political party, nor any government, will ever be able to change.

          I've seen your kind of posts before, and one thing I can infer from them, is that, some people refuse to think and to be analytical. Things are a lot more complicated than asking for simple social justice and equal outcomes. Not gonna happen, and it would actually be very illogical.
          • Didn't spot your post to dimonic before my own


            But I agree with much of what you state here likewise, even if we disagree on other fronts (to wit, my contempt and distrust of one-world multinationalism).

            Sometimes I wonder if the collectivist left even thinks anymore for themselves, or just run with quips from their media heroes like Franken and Maddow and Moore, et al. Liberals from the past DID at least think for themselves, even if they were often hopelessly idealistic and in denial of certain patent realities, beginning with the laws of nature. But at least you could bless their hearts for trying to rumble.

            Today, libs just seem to run on outdated quips and indolent notions so far from (static or evolved) reality as to make them almost laughable. But then, that's exactly what runaway socialism delivers. A deadbeat welfare state based on endless entitlements, coming at the expense of personal responsibility and initiative. Everything that this country used to NOT be, when it worked.

            The lowest common denominator never looked better, proving - with enough government intervention and business malpractices - the mild (and lazy) will inherit the earth. And everyone else, short of a few lucky or well positioned souls, will be unemployed.
          • let me guess

            You fell for that false party platform ideal of smaller government, too? The same party that expanded government with the DEA and the DHS? Bipolar politics is an all-around injustice, a false choice between two management teams trying to control the same dollar. Individuals and their arguments are more than two-sided, having more than two perspectives molding their opinions. I guess it's easier when the people who write the bills for Congress to consider only have two whip's palms to grease.
        • I suppose I'm what they call a "conservative"

          And yet I agree with much of what you say. Except the part about the RepubliCONS funding all this latter day, hi-tech, multinational profit whoring. Think again. The DemocRATS are as much behind outsourcing and offshoring labor practices as anyone else. Most of these hi-tech companies are decidedly left leaning -- and they all want to change the world to their liking (and profitability).

          All you toy clutching pinheads are their targeted wombats and malleable fodder. Enjoy being played.

          As for the Tea Party, geezuz dude. How the hell are you correlating that nascent protest movement from the right with organized big business and the Republican mainstream? The two fronts are pretty much diametrically opposed. You need to start deciphering politics closer, and stop swallowing quips from Maher, Mathews and Moore lock, stock and barrel.
        • Republicans, big business ect, who are well off to extremely wealthy

          Repulicans like John Kerry? Nancy Pelosi? George Soros? Wait, they're democrats!

          So you mean to say that these multi-millionaires would happily veto any tax cut to the "rich", seeing that THAT ARE THE RICH?

          "According to the Center for Responsive Politics 47 percent of congressional representatives are millionaires. In the current term, Republicans have 110 millionaires in the House of Representatives compared with 73 Democrats. In the Senate, Democratic millionaires outnumber Republicans 37-30"

          Give me a break here, OK?
          William Farrel
          • Just Saying...

            If you’re young and not a Democrat, you’re heartless. But as you grow old and you’re not a Republican, you’re stupid.” Read it a long time ago. Some rich guy giving advice. Don't know how true it is?
    • Foxconn riot shuts down China factory for a day

      kc - From the article, the dispute appeared to be personal and not work related, so i'm not sure how social justice and profit figure into this.
      Fernando Stockwell
      • Of course, at least as the "sanctioned" story goes

        Odd though that 2000 workers jumped into the "personal" fray for the heck of it. You know, like a scene from one of those old fashioned martial arts flicks that we often run across late at night. When will the Orient learn there are better ways to settle personal differences, like hiring expensive lawyers to do battle in court!

        Pent up frustration over being indentured chattel? Working conditions that the consumers of these same products would never tolerate themselves? Security guards serving as spymasters and enforcer goons?

  • Riot

    Probably over the lousy $1.78/hr they're making, plus they have to pay for their meals and board if they wish to live on-site. Downright dignity sucking.
    • The story mentioned a personal dispute

      And IIRC Foxconn employees on average earn more than many of their peers.
      • Two questions

        Is that before or after they get their heads cracked open by their factory enforcers? And once they do, whaddya figure the chance will be that they'll have medical insurance in place to help cover the resultant bills?
  • Of course it's not work related....

    Nothing is ever work related because that way the companies in China do not have to pay compensation to workers AND can dock pay.

    Work-related injuries are never work related either. And didn't you know? An estimated 50 - 100 employees of Foxconn are kids under the age of 16 who work an average of 16 - 18 hour days, including overnights.

    They do all this for your lovely electronics. Stop supporting slave labor.
    • You're wasting your breath

      You'll never get labor justice concepts through the heads of the profit whores and multinational apologists (in this case, as Apple's market value nears the trillion dollar mark) -- or their starry eyed underlings and clapping seal advocates. As long as they are set in their own cushy corners, and can stroke their smartphones with childlike glee, all is well. End of discussion, baby.

      Meanwhile, factory guards working as enforcer goons continue to beat up workers at the factory to keep the indentured in line. Why should that provoke trouble or anger the nameless rabble, our business school mavens ask? Then they point out the ever-important consumer edge: figure for every head they crack, you're getting that iPhone for at least $10 cheaper. Eh, whodda known? That's a nice discount that really adds up! :)

      Go Apple! And God bless Tim "we don't owe America a thing" Cook, my hero. *heart flutters*
  • My shiny new i7

    didn't come with a warning on the box that it was assembled by Foxconn. Believe me, I would have made other purchasing plans to pretend like I care. If these people don't want to work there, then quit; but if they carelessly assault employees, they both should suffer the consequences.