Maxim Duncan and Clare Jim
September 25, 2013
About 2,000 Chinese employees of an iPhone assembly company fought a pitched battle into the early hours of Monday, forcing the huge electronics plant where they work to be shut down.
Authorities in the northern city of Taiyuan sent 5,000 police to restore order after what the plant’s Taiwanese owners Foxconn Technology Group said was a personal dispute in a dormitory that erupted into a mass brawl.
However, some employees and people posting messages online accused factory guards of provoking the trouble by beating up workers at the factory, which employs about 79,000 people and is owned by the world’s largest contract maker of electronic goods.
“The plant is closed today for investigation,” Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo told Reuters. It was not clear how long the plant would be shut while police and company officials investigate the violence, but an employee contacted by telephone said the closure could last two or three days.