Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has been forced to shutdown its factory operations in Vietnam due to violent anti-China protests over oil drilling. At least 21 people are said to have been killed thus far in the violence.
AppleInsider reports the China recently started drilling for oil near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, a chain of islands under the control of the People’s Republic of China, but also claimed by Vietnam as well as Taiwan. The ownership dispute over the islands has prompted protesters in Vietnam to trash factories near Ho Chi Minh City.
Manufacturers associated with shoemakers Nike and Adidas, as well as Walmart, have also been forced to halt production.
Foxconn issued a statement saying it has halted production to “ensure the safety” of its employees. Foxconn workers in Vietnam were instructed to take a three-day leave of absence beginning Saturday.
Foxconn is Apple chief supplier and assembly partner, assembling the major share of devices like Apple’s iPhone and iPad. It is unknown how much of Foxconn’s Vietnamese operations are Apple-related.