Chinese state media reported Monday on a mass brawl among up to 2,000 workers at a Foxconn plant in Taiyuan, in Shanxi province.
Foxconn’s Taiwanese parent company Hon Hai said in a statement that the incident began “as a personal dispute between several employees” in a privately managed dormitory for workers at the plant.
However, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said the melee broke out between workers from two different Chinese provinces and attracted more than 10,000 spectators. Some 5,000 policemen were sent to the scene.
Postings on the Weibo microblog claimed that the Taiyuan brawl was between factory security guards and workers.
A Taiyuan city government official said the unrest had “quietened down” and confirmed Hon Hai statements that it was not work-related. The factory is to be closed for one day for an investigation.
Foxconn is the world’s largest maker of computer components. It assembles products for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), among others. The company has been in the spotlight after at least 13 Foxconn employees in China died in apparent suicides, which activists blamed on tough working conditions. The deaths prompted calls for better treatment of staff.