Foxconn factory shut down following riots

This photo taken on May 27, 2010 shows Chinese workers outside the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, southern China's Guangdong province.

A group of protestors from SACOM (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour) demonstrate outside the Foxconn annual general meeting (AGM) in Hong Kong on May 18, 2011.

The company that makes Apple's iPhones and iPads in China has shut down one of its factories following a riot by workers.

Thousands of people were involved in a fight at a Foxconn factory in Northern China last night. And the factory is expected to stay closed until tomorrow.

The factory, located in the city of Taiyuan, employs about 79,000 workers. The fight at first broke out as a fistfight between a few members of different business groups -- defined as a group of workers making products for a certain company. The brawl quickly escalated and by the end included around 2,000 people, including bystanders. Forty people were injured in the clash, and one person was stabbed.

Marketplace's China bureau chief Rob Schmitz talked to a spokesman from Foxconn, who says he is not sure why they were fighting, and that police were investigating the matter.

Schmitz adds that if this fight had broken out at a Chinese company, it likely would have been swept under the rug. But because Foxconn is a Taiwanese company -- a factory run by foreigners -- police will be directly involved in the investigation, and the results will be published in the state press.

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

A group of protestors from SACOM (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour) demonstrate outside the Foxconn annual general meeting (AGM) in Hong Kong on May 18, 2011.

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