Workers fought with armed police in Foxconn riot

Workers fought with armed police in Foxconn riot

Summary: Thousands of workers went head-to-head with Foxconn's security staff and armed policemen in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, leaving several dozens injured.


Smashing windows and rolling over police SUVs, over 2,000 angry workers turned Foxconn's Taiyuan factory into a midnight battlefield earlier this week, according to a local newspaper's report.

Infuriated by rumors the company's security forces had beat up a worker from Shandong province in the evening of Sep. 23, hundreds of workers from Shandong and Henan quickly got the upper hand against the company's 200-men security shift.

"A captain named Li called back off-duty security personnel who live nearby to come and help control the situation," said a security officer with the company. "Everything got out of hand when some one thousand workers finished their shift and joined the riot around midnight."

The angry crowd then turned on the armed police which arrived after 3a.m. that night. They destroyed items in the factory smashed vehicles and windows of the factory's supermarket, and confronted policemen who were armed with shields and batons.

After the police finally contained the riot, over 40 were hospitalized and three of them were in critical condition. According to some unverified reports and Weibo accounts of Foxconn's employees, 10 people were killed during the incident but no information on the identities of the victims were available at the moment.

Foxconn currently has the situation under control but was forced to close the factory on Monday, according to the company's spokesperson Louis Woo.

Relationships between the company's security forces and workers had always been strained. An employee who went under the alias "Hong" said many workers hated the security staff.

"I used to unbutton the upper button on the uniform when I walked out the workshop, and the security scolded me with very offensive language," said Hong. "But when I told my roommates, they laughed at me and said that was nothing but routine here."


Topics: Hardware, China, Tech Industry

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  • Guess that.... will be more practical for them (Foxconn) to let workers jump out of the window than let 'riots' (sorry, incidents) happen. At least iFhoneFive production won’t be disrupted.

    Sorry, I know, the above comment was unnecessary.
    • Delusional much?

      "At least iFhoneFive production won’t be disrupted."

      You are one of the many people who are ignorant of the facts, and let your own bias and hatred/fear of Apple create a fantasy world in your mind.

      The "reality" (it's a state of mind in which most people operate) is:

      a) the riot didn't take place at the plant but in a non-Foxconn controlled, "privately-managed dormitory"
      b) the people who live in that dormitory work at a plant that doesn't assemble any Apple products, and
      c) the fight had nothing to do with working conditions, but was a conflict between individuals, that escalated

      But facts are so easily avoided by the ignorant. ;-)

      Here are news quotes that shed light on the real story:

      "Foxconn can confirm that a personal dispute between several employees escalated into an incident involving some 2,000 workers at approximately 11 pm last night in a privately-managed dormitory near our manufacturing facility in Taiyuan in Shanxi province. The dispute was brought under control by local police at approximately 3 am this morning. According to police, some 40 individuals were taken to the hospital for medical attention and a number of individuals were arrested. 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. The Taiyuan facility employs 79,000 people and manufactures automobile electronic components, consumer electronic components and precision moldings."

      "We can confirm that there have been no employee deaths related to the incident which took place at an employee dormitory in Taiyuan last night. Reports to the contrary are inaccurate.”
      Harvey Lubin
      • Chinese news sources...

        always reliable. Our bad.

      • And Hussein had WMDs, right?

        Because the "official" story said so! Let's go to war, Israel insists! Dubya check.

        Stop acting like some tunnel-visioned Apple fantasizer and fanboi, and learn to read between the lines. In this case you don't even have to read between the hanzi logograms. There is no love loss between Foxconn's security units and the indentured who toil for that firm. Cook and his inner circle could care less. They're too busy bagging truckloads of loot to trouble themselves with such tawdry details.

        If any of this is new news to you, go back to hugging your chattel produced Apples and rosy red press releases.
        • In relation to your comment on WMD's, it seems a great many people

          forget, that the next day, Bush said that we would go after any country that harbored Terroist activity. I don't know the exact words, but I do remember 9-11, for very personal reasons.

          It wasn't just about WMD's.

          As for the foxconn incident, calling the above poster an Apple fanboy, maybe you should also educate yourself, that Apple is not the only company being serviced by Foxconn. But don't let the facts stop you from constantly blaming Apple for all the worlds problems...
          • How many?

            Just how many of those terrorist were in Iraq before we toppled the regime? Where was Bin Laden? He never invaded Pakistan......
          • Apparently you missed my comment below

            to matgeek. Now don't let that response stop you from jumping the gun.

            The plant in question assembles Apple's iPhone 5, and you and Lubin above are fixating defensively over Apple, so that's good enough for me. You may not have noticed but the terms Apple + Foxconn have become largely inextricable at this point, sealed at the joints by short term expediency by way of profit whoring. Something Cook excels at like few others.

            As for your rather weak defense of Dubya, he would go anywhere his Israeli and Jewish neocon masters told him to go, replete with piss laden lies to the American public (read: WMD "justifications" for military engagement). Now Netanyahoo is working on Obummer (and Mr. Mormon) with hopes of unleashing the American war machine on Iran. Let's see how far that goes.
  • Sounds alot like prison labor

    "I used to unbutton the upper button on the uniform when I walked out the workshop, and the security scolded me with very offensive language," said Hong. "But when I told my roommates, they laughed at me and said that was nothing but routine here"
    William Farrel
  • After the police finally contained the riot = ?

    I assume detailed description has been censored to protect the sensitivity of the readers.
  • Kind of ironic, don't you think?

    For a country with a supposed communist government, don't you think it's kind of ironic that the Chinese have raised worker exploitation to a modern art in the 21st century? Where is Karl Marx when he's needed? Workers of the world unite! Boycott products made in China!
    • Nothing new byt an Improvment

      Worker Exploitation in China is nothing new. Remember all the stories of liberating the workers from the evils of the bourgeoisie during the Great leap forward and the Cultural Revolution.

      Is see the focus on Foxocom as failing to see the forest through the trees. Yes there are problem but I do not see a rush by the state to ship off millions people to the factories at a point of a bayonet and killing a few millions in the process.
  • Wow

    The incredible power of a...rumor!
  • Hey Apple fans!

    These are the people building your iPhones? Next time you have a problem with your phone? Now you know why.
    • Hey Apple Hater

      These are the people that make nearly every electronic device that you own/use... The only difference is, Apple is actually trying to make the factories that build iPhones more fair.

      What is Google doing about the 13yr olds that are building their Android Phones? For that matter, what is Dell or HP doing about it?

      But you're right, lets single out the only Foxconn partner that has carried out third-party audits and actually pays, out of it's own pocket, to ensure that each employee is making a more fair wage than other Foxconn employees.
      • Why dont you ask why any of this exists?

        Except to make these hi-tech country clubs rich and spoiled beyond their dreams, coming at the expense of all other buttresses and long term ramifications.

        Moral of the story: Pay off the right folks and dreams can come true -- especially in the new America Internationale.
  • Liu Jiayi - China Communist Party flack, apparently

    Perhaps a better headline would be "Armed Communist Thugs Beat, Terrorize Exploited Workers"

    ZDNet, you should be ashamed of yourself. In my fathers day the only good Communist...
    beau parisi
  • Love Free Enterprise

    Industrial capitalism in every country has gone through these convulsions as workers can't stand the bad wages, long hours and unsafe working conditions. Apple, Walmart and other 'darlings' of U.S. capitalism are about to take a big hit in their super profits.
    Can this greed go on forever?
    • But

      At lest in a industrial Capitalism I the worker have a choice who I work for, I did many low wage crappy jobs, but they did not last long as I found better wages .

      Capitalism means we have a choice , if I am mistreated at work I can move on the the competition or start my own business. Nobody is forcing anybody to work at Walmart. The fact there no mass exodus for other retail jobs say something against the charge Walmat is exploitative.
    • Down with capitalism!

      Yeah! What they need in China is Communism! Maybe someone named Mao Zedong will come along and start China down the path to a workers paradise!
      Robert Hahn
  • Down with resistance! The bulldozers have arrived!

    1. They already have communism in China. Red and rosy as an apple. You haven't noticed?

    2. The ubercapitalists you so ostentatiously applaud would hop on the back of Mao Zedong or even Pol Pot if they would have them. As long as they can haul away bags of loot at the end of the day, what difference would such trivialities or hosts make? No battlefield or playground is off limits to da movers and shakers. End of discussion. [so tidy, so sweet]

    3. Whether they deliver anyone, anywhere a "workers paradise" into the bargain is of little concern to your synthetic country club heroes. All they care about is if they can get away with icing any deal on the cheap (so they can generously slice more off the top for themselves), and greasing the right palms along the way. Life remains good, when you're at the top.