News just came in that workers at Foxconn’s Taiyuan plant have started a riot in the wee hours in China, and that police forces are on site to control the crowd. While the motive isn’t clear, Sina Weibo user Li Tian reports that the riot isn’t related to the recent anti-Japan protests, though judging by his photos, much damage has been done in the process. The same site suffered from a strike back in March over salary dispute — the front-line workers failed to receive the promised pay rise. On a similar note, Foxconn’s Chengdu plant also had a riot in June, but that was apparently due to an argument between some workers and a local restaurant owner.
Update: We are seeing unofficial reports claiming the “2,000-people” riot was triggered by security guards hitting a worker at 10pm local time.
Update 2: According to a provincial website, Foxconn’s Taiyuan industrial park focuses on magnesium alloy components for consumer electronics, heat conduction products, LED lighting products, mobile phone products and magnesium alloy automotive components.
Update 3: An undercover report from August mentioned that the Taiyuan plant processed the back casing of the iPhone 5. It also highlighted the company’s harsh management as well as “practically compulsory” over-time work. We don’t doubt that this riot escalated due to dissatisfaction over working conditions.