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Ear to the Ground

2,000 Workers Involved in Foxconn Brawl

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Posted on Sep 23, 2012

The back plate of the new Apple iPhone 5.

With class tensions in China running high, labor conditions under an international microscope and a new iPhone just landing in well-stitched pockets, we’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about the significance of what’s being reported as a “brawl” at a Foxconn plant in northern China.

Some 2,000 of the facility’s 79,000 workers were said to be involved and authorities are investigating, according to the firm, which manufactures countless high-tech devices for better known brands, including Apple and Intel.


About 40 people were taken to hospital and a number of individuals have been arrested, the company said.

The cause of the brawl is unknown, but Foxconn said local authorities were now conducting an investigation into the incident.

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Foxconn is owned by Hon Hai, a Taiwanese company. Although its name is often left off the products it assembles (on Apple’s devices, a simple “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China” suffices), the company has come to stand for poor working conditions symptomatic of outsourcing.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer. Follow him on Twitter: @peesch.

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