Violence makes Apple supplier halt production in Vietnam


Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has shut down its operations in Vietnam for three days as a result of anti-China protests over oil drilling.

China recently began drilling for oil near to the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. The problem? While the islands are controlled by the People’s Republic of China, they’re claimed by both Vietnam and Taiwan. The disputed ownership has prompted protesters in Vietnam to ransack factories near to Ho Chi Minh City.

The violence has already forced manufacturers for Nike and Adidas, as well as Walmart, to temporarily halt productions. Now Foxconn has done the same –giving its workers in Vietnam a three-day leave of absence starting Saturday to “ensure [their] safety.”

At least 21 people have reportedly been killed so far in the violence.

Along with Pegatron, Foxconn is Apple’s primary supplier and assembler, responsible for working on devices including the iPhone and iPad. It’s not know how much of that work is accomplished in Vietnam, thereby making it difficult to say what the knock-on effects could be for Apple if protests continue.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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