Foxconn's factory in Taiyuan was forced to shutdown following a massive riot that involved at least 2,000 people, reports M.I.C. Gadget. The factory employes roughly 79,000 workers.
The riot reportedly started when one of the security guards hit a Foxconn worker. Angry workers started to beat up the security guard and others who tried to stop the fighting. Foxconn hired security was overwhelmed rather quickly and called for backup.
Around midnight the various arms of the Chinese police showed up, ending up at about 5,000 or so by 3 a.m. when the factory was under control. We are told by people at the scene that cellphones were being confiscated and erased and many people have been arrested. The official number is around 100 arrested but we are sure from what the tipster told us it is many more than that. Even worse as the workers and others fled the scene many people were injured by trampling, on top of those who were caught up and injured in the fighting. Around 40 people are in hospital, but again we suspect many more.
Foxconn has issued official statements on the matter saying:
"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."
Notably, the site reports that at least one iPhone 5 production line was damaged and that the factory will be locked down for 2 to 3 days while everything is investigated and damage is assessed.