Mass Chaos at Foxconn's Taiyuan Factory

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On Sunday night, a dispute at a Foxconn factory in Taiyuan turned into a large-scale skirmish, mobilizing thousands of workers.

Reports as to the number of people sent to the hospital vary, but it is estimated that about 40 people were injured, leaving several in critical condition.

The source of the dispute is unclear. Some sources report it was a personal conflict between workers from Henan and Shandong provinces. Users of Sina weibo, China's biggest microblogging site, are saying the conflict was between Foxconn guards and workers from Henan province. Neither theory has been verified and Foxconn representatives say it is under investigation.

State-run media reported that five thousand police were deployed to the scene last night to bring things under control. By 3 am this morning, state-run media said everything was back to normal. However, a Foxconn employee told Reuters the plant might be closed for the next few days while an investigation is underway.

The Tawian based group Hon Hai is the owner of Foxconn, one of the biggest electronics manufacturers in the world. It has several factories in China and employs over one million people to work on its assembly lines

The plant in China's northwest Shanxi province employs about 79 thousand workers.

Foxconn has come under scrutiny lately for its poor labor practices. It was recently accused of using interns on the assembly line to meet deadlines for the iPhone 5. It also had to install security nets after a string of workers committed suicide by jumping from factory roofs in 2010.

The Fair Labor Association has been working with Foxconn to improve working conditions and safeguard employee rights.

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