Apple’s supplier Foxconn has been forced to suspend its operations in Vietnam for three days after violent protests broke out targeting Chinese factories, reports the Wall Street Journal. Foxconn has six units in Vietnam.
“Employees at our manufacturing sites in Vietnam will take three days of leave from May 17 for safety reasons,” Foxconn said Friday in a statement.
The protests broke out after news that a Chinese company had started drilling for oil on territory claimed by both Vietnam and Taiwan, and controlled by China. “Vietnam says the Chinese oil rig is 241 kilometers from Vietnam’s shore, well within its “exclusive economic zone,” areas defined by the United Nations as extending 370 km from a country’s coast. China, however, claims jurisdiction over the waters off the Paracel Islands, which are controlled by China but claimed by Hanoi, informs the WSJ.
According to an unnamed Foxconn official, Chinese and Taiwanese executives have returned to their homelands to avoid any harm, although there were no reports of damage on the company’s manufacturing sites.
Unfortunately, hundreds of businesses in Vietnam, despite having no connection with the matter, have been affected. Taiwanese manufacturers have been hit hardest, with at least 200 factories looted or burned down.