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Riot breaks out at factory of Apple supplier Foxconn

Electronics manufacturer Foxconn has again been thrown under the spotlight for the wrong reasons, with the firm halting production at a plant in northern China after a mass fight broke out amongst workers.

The Taiwanese supplier produces parts for major tech firms, most notably Apple, and has been accused on numerous occasions of mistreating its workforce. A succession of suicides among Foxconn employees drew most concern last year.

Now, the firm has admitted that a “personal dispute” in a workers’ dormitory escalated to a brawl involving around 2,000 workers, reports the BBC. Police were called in to deal with the disturbance near the plant in Taiyuan, after the incident erupted at 1500 GMT on Sunday. 40 people were taken to hospital for injury and some individuals have since been arrested.

The fracas was not brought under control for a number of hours and Foxconn says local authorities are now investigating the incident.

Foxconn has repeatedly been forced to handle poor publicity. In June, a watchdog group released a study that described conditions at Foxconn production sites in China as "military style" and “humiliating”, with workers subjected to inhumane treatment and dangerous environments.

An undercover report was also released on the day of Apple's iPhone 5 launch this month, as the torturous hours and tasks of employees on a production line in China were revealed. In addition to Apple, Foxconn customers are said to include Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Asus, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Intel, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Netgear, Nintendo, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Vizio, as listed by the New York Times this year.