In a bit of a surprising turn of events yesterday a Foxconn factory in china, which is going to be responsible for assembling 57 million iPhone 5s by the end of the year, underwent a riot. According to MICgadget there was over 2,000 workers involved in the riot and over 5,000 police officers were needed to finally calm things down. The result of the riot led to 10 deaths and extensive damages to the factory, which includes at least one iPhone 5 production line.
What was the cause of the riot you may ask?
Well, apparently one of the security guards physically assaulted a Foxconn worker and this stirred a bit of a brawl involving other workers. Eventually Foxconn’s hired security was overwhelmed and they called for backup at around 10-11pm on September 23rd, during this timeframe things started to rapidly escalate. To the point that by around 3am there were over 5,000 Chinese police officers from various arms trying to control the situation.
As previously mentioned the aftermath of this riot caused the death of 10 people, which were not Foxconn employees according to CPCW. There were around 40 people hospitalized, and over 100 people arrested. It has been hard to get statements from Foxconn or the police on the matter, and as such we have little official details. Even worse all the pictures on the Chinese internet are being slowly blocked.
Right now it is estimated that the factory will be locked down for about 2-3 days while everything is being investigated and the damage is assessed. This riot could indeed mean that iPhone 5 shipping times will increase in the following days.