1,000+ Foxconn Workers Riot At iPhone & iPad Display Factory

1,000+ Foxconn Workers Riot At iPhone & iPad Display Factory

Cellphone pic of Chengdu workers rioting on Monday night.

Despite Apple’s stated efforts to improve worker conditions at their Foxconn factories in China, worker tension is still high, as up to a thousand workers rioted in Chengdu last night for hours over a minor incident.

According to Taiwan’s WantChinaTimes, Chengdu workers prevented a thief from being caught by Foxconn security guards, apparently due to some existing grudge.

The altercation quickly escalated, and soon, up to 1,000 workers were hurling trash bins, chairs, bottles and pots from the upper floor of the dormitory where this took place. In addition, they fired off fireworks, and destroyed public facilities.

The rioting was only suppressed after several hours by a veritable army of hundreds of police officers, who arrested dozens of workers.

Foxconn’s Chengdu factory are where Apple’s iPhone and iPad displays are made.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has pledged multiple times to help fix worker conditions in Foxconn factories, but a recent report says that despite Apple’s pledges, literally nothing has changed.

Certainly, if an incident like this could get out of control so quickly, things don’t look good. Foxconn could be a powder keg ready to blow. Apple alleviating worker conditions in China might not just be in Apple’s humanitarian interests, but in their best preservational interests as well: more riots like this could potentially paralyze Apple’s global business.

  • joewaylo

    Looks like a win to the raging grannies

  • extra_medium

    Its not only in apple’s best interest, but in Foxconn’s best interest. Stuff like this is evidence you can only treat humans so bad in the name of endless profit margins before things arent sustainable.

  • Tallest_Skil

    “This is obviously Apple’s fault. They should have given everyone $7.25 an hour and houses for each individual on a plot of land no smaller than an acre. All workers should have had a 35 hour work week.

    This wouldn’t have happened if Apple had listened to us protest their working conditions.”
  • Wirehedd

    No idea of what really happened and I have no expectation of the truth coming out of either Foxconn, or China in general for that matter, or Apple but I am seemingly incapable of visually discerning how the above photo is indicative of a riot of more than 1000 people when this image appears to be nothing more than a picture of an employee gate at some point between shift changes. Other than that I see absolutely nothing that screams “RIOT!” in this picture at all.

    Seems more like a big exaggeration where 1000 people went to work and then went home and there was a problem at some time during that shift. I don’t see crowds of screaming people and I certainly don’t see any rioting employees.
    This story sounds like a load of hooey honestly. Are we supposed to think that there is no actual photographic or video evidence of this riot at all? This picture sure isn’t and I can’t see why it is even attached to this story. Sounds like CoM got suckered.
  • FriarNurgle

    Robotic workforce looking better and better.

  • Lane Jasper

    Looks like they’re all just standing around. Prob on a smoke break lol

  • Lane Jasper

    No idea of what really happened and I have no expectation of the truth coming out of either Foxconn, or China in general for that matter, or Apple but I am seemingly incapable of visually discerning how the above photo is indicative of a riot of more than 1000 people when this image appears to be nothing more than a picture of an employee gate at some point between shift changes. Other than that I see absolutely nothing that screams “RIOT!” in this picture at all.

    Seems more like a big exaggeration where 1000 people went to work and then went home and there was a problem at some time during that shift. I don’t see crowds of screaming people and I certainly don’t see any rioting employees.
    This story sounds like a load of hooey honestly. Are we supposed to think that there is no actual photographic or video evidence of this riot at all? This picture sure isn’t and I can’t see why it is even attached to this story. Sounds like CoM got suckered.

    TOTALLY!!! This looks like a smoke break or shift change to me and I see no more than maybe 50 people standing around. They need to learn ho to riot properly. they were heard yelling at eachother things like “Hey! Stupid! Wanna go out tonight” and “I like your hat charlie” and “wanna smoke”? It was off the hook!

  • Lane Jasper

    I wonder if they love or hate Apple..?

  • lwdesign1

    The photo shows no riot whatsoever. It looks calm and peaceful. Did a riot really happen or is this another Mike Daisey type of “I’m not a journalist” story?

    Chinese culture is VERY different from what we know in the western world. Working conditions that are common there were long outlawed in most developed countries. Apple can only try to work with Foxconn to improve conditions, but it is Foxconn’s responsibility to take care of their staff. I’m very tired of hearing about how bad Apple is and how it treats its Chinese workers. Foxconn is NOT an Apple company but merely an assembly plant that puts together the pieces.
  • Alexander530

    I am starting to get the impression that it is not Foxconn or Apple that are at fault. It’s those employees that need clean up their act.

  • Bob Forsberg

    Sound like Keith Obberman is choosing the topics for your stories now.

  • technochick

    No idea of what really happened and I have no expectation of the truth coming out of either Foxconn, or China in general for that matter, or Apple but I am seemingly incapable of visually discerning how the above photo is indicative of a riot of more than 1000 people when this image appears to be nothing more than a picture of an employee gate at some point between shift changes. 

    Exactly. the photo isn’t proof and even if something that big did happen who is to say that it had anything to do with work conditions. it could have been over anything. Perhaps they weren’t stopping a thief from getting caught but demanding someone find him/her. 

    Of course CoM etc will say that this was before or after the incident etc 
  • Daws001

    Hell, no! Tell them to get back to work and make my iPhone 5!

    I won’t stand for this.

  • Harsha Deep Reddy

    There seems to be extra covergae nowadays on Foxconn… 
    These employees are paid very less for the skills they possess, you can only understand such things once you experience it

  • Gavin Blur

    Dear Reporter – Are you a fortune teller?  If not and I suspect you’re not, then Please don’t try to predict the future and tone your article with the idea that this has anything to do with Apple or the working conditions – you just don’t know and till you do… and you’re spreading false information.

  • drblank
    No idea of what really happened and I have no expectation of the truth coming out of either Foxconn, or China in general for that matter, or Apple but I am seemingly incapable of visually discerning how the above photo is indicative of a riot of more than 1000 people when this image appears to be nothing more than a picture of an employee gate at some point between shift changes. 

    Exactly. the photo isn’t proof and even if something that big did happen who is to say that it had anything to do with work conditions. it could have been over anything. Perhaps they weren’t stopping a thief from getting caught but demanding someone find him/her. 

    Of course CoM etc will say that this was before or after the incident etc 

    Didn’t the article say that there was someone trying to steal something?  Well, things get out of hand over something that isn’t even related to Apple.  If someone is stealing something, that’s not a problem that Apple caused, is it?

  • KiwiAnthony
    On what evidence, This is unbelievable! What an incredible ignorant statement. What sort of upbringing do you have?

    I am starting to get the impression that it is not Foxconn or Apple that are at fault. It’s those employees that need clean up their act.

  • Metl Mann

    This is why I won’t buy Apple stock any longer.  Without Steve to bend reality, unexpected incidents like this could cause a really extreme price drop.  Perhaps creating a buying opportunity, but still . . . too much uncertainty.

  • world_exposer

    They need to be paid more. Apple can afford it. The conditions and hours they work a disgusting. 

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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