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Foxconn Closes Chinese Factory Following Riot

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Foxconn Technology has been forced to suspend handset assembly work at its Taiyuan factory where some 79,000 staff work following a fight amongst a large number of employees.

Details are scarce, but it seems that the police were called in to break up the fight which may have escalated into a full scale riot involving around 2,000 people in a dormatory and left 40 people needing hospital treatment.

Foxconn has around 1.1 million employees around China, and the Taiyuan factory is one of the early adopters of the government policy of moving production away from the coast to other areas to help control labour migration across the country.

Unconfirmed reports and photos uploaded to social media websites before being removed by censors showed broken windows and crowds of workers hanging around while riot police try to restore order.

"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. The company confirmed that the factory would remain closed during the investigation.

Foxconn is a key supplier to Apple, although it has not been confirmed if this factory is assembling the company's latest iPhone handsets. Both companies have been under increased scrutiny in the past couple of years following increased concern about worker conditions at the Chinese factories.

Factory staff have become increasingly more willing to demand higher wages and better working conditions, and local party managers pile on the pressure to protect their own political careers which are dependent on the twin engines of economic growth and maintaining law and order.

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Tags: foxconn technology  China