No Laugh Riot

Like the NFL officiating, it just keeps getting worse.

At least 40 Foxconn workers are reportedly in Chinese hospitals today following a late night riot at the company’s massive campus in Taiyuan, a city in northern China.

Workers apparently took matters into their own hands after company guards reportedly badly beat at least one employee. Photos from the scene uploaded to China’s version of Twitter, which Chinese official moved quickly to censor, showed hundreds of employees and police in riot gear, and in one case, an overturned guard building.

Many blue-chip OEMs rely on Foxconn to manage the better part of their supply chain, and have continued to do so despite longstanding accusations of worker abuse. Apple, so far, has survived the heat, although the flames get hotter by the day. But for struggling companies like Dell and HP, the question must again be asked: Is this relationship good for your brand? Or is it time to take a stand against what is clearly an counterproductive business plan?

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow