Riots break out at Foxconn

@ 2012/09/24
It looks like Apple might be regretting trying to choke the supply of its iPhone 5 to artificially create a buzz about a product which is the same as the last one.

That cunning plan depended on the company being able to bring out lots of new ones when the buzz had ramped up enough. However it looks like something has gone wrong behind the bamboo curtain.

Reports coming in this morning from China suggest that a mass disturbance or riots may have broken out at a Foxconn factory in the Chinese city of Taiyuan.

According to NBC, posts on China's popular twitter-like service, Weibo, show photographs and video of large numbers of police in riot gear around the factory blocking off throngs of people.

Debris is strewn around the Foxconn compound and in one case, an overturned guard tower.

It was all started when Foxconn security guards hit a worker last night. Chinese censors have been frantically been deleting pictures from the scene.

This is the second time that there has been a mass disturbance at the plant. In March, strikes broke out there after workers did not receive a pay raise they had reportedly been promised.

Foxconn's Chengdu plant in Sichuan province also has also seen rioting. In June, scores of Foxconn workers there got into a fight with a local restaurant owner that had to be broken up by police.

It seems that rioting could be the only way that workers can get management at the plant to listen to them.

The company dealt with a string of suicides at its plants across China, which led to the company in 2010 installing anti-jump nets to prevent more suicide attempts.

With a news blackout in the region it is hard to say what effect this will have on the supply of the iPhone 5. The plant makes the backplate for the shiny toy.

Apple recently carried out a review of the Foxconn operation and while conditionally giving the outfit a clean bill of health, it shifted iPad production to Pegatron.

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