updated 10:51 am EDT, Fri May 16, 2014
Anti-Chinese sentiment impacts Taiwanese firm
Prominent Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn has been forced to shut down its production in Vietnam for three days due to anti-Chinese protests in the country, says the Financial Times. China recently began drilling for oil near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, a region claimed by China, Vietnam, and Taiwan alike. Confrontations between Chinese and Vietnamese boats has led to hostility between the two countries' governments, and anti-Chinese violence by some in the Vietnamese public. 21 people have been killed so far, and protesters have ransacked factories near Ho Chi Minh City thought to be linked to China, regardless of whether they actually are.
Suppliers for Nike, Adidas, and Walmart have been forced to shut down, and Foxconn has taken similar steps as a precaution to "ensure the safety" of its workers, according to an official statement. The closure is effective as of Saturday local time.
While Foxconn handles production for several Western corporations, its biggest client is Apple. It's unknown to what extent Foxconn's Vietnamese facilities might support Apple, but the bulk of that manufacturing takes place at Foxconn's Shenzhen complex in mainland China.