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Foxconn's pollutional activities in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China

Residents of the Hengda Oasis community in Taiyuan, Shanxi are exposed to toxic gases emitted by the Foxconn factory, a manufacturer for global brands such as Apple. Their protest against the factory in 2011 included roadblocks.


Foxconn is the largest electronics manufacturer worldwide. Contracted by the most significant global brands, such as Apple, Intel, Amazon and Sony to name but a few, the company is estimated to manufacture around 40% of all consumer electronics worldwide [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Foxconn's pollutional activities in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China
State or province:Shanxi
Location of conflict:Taiyuan
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Manufacturing activities
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Specific commodities:Manufactured Products
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The completion of the Foxconn factury in Taiyuan cost 4,4bn CNY, and gives work to more than 65,000 people [2].

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Project area:305
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectca. 656,638,000.00
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:2,000
Start of the conflict:01/09/2009
Company names or state enterprises:Foxconn Technology Group 富士康科技集团 from Taiwan
Relevant government actors:Environmental Protection Bureau of Shanxi Province
Environmental Protection Bureau of Taiyuan City
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (公众环境研究中心,
-Friends of Nature (自然之友,
-Green Beagle Environmental Institute (达尔问环境研究所,
-Green Stone Environmental Action Network (绿石环境保护中心,
-Huanyou Science and Technology Research Center(环友科技,
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Industrial workers
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Soil contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Other Health impacts
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents
Other Health impactsWorkers committed suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Violent targeting of activists
Fostering a culture of peace
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Workers report that the brawl was sparked by the violent treatment of security guards towards workers
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Residents are still complaining about pollution caused by the factory. According to local physicians, a large number of residents are suffering from environmental health issues that remain unaddressed. [5]
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[3] "The other side of Apple II" Research report by Chinese environmental organizations digging Apple’s China supply chain, listing additional suppliers in violation of Chinese environmental standards. (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

[5] "China And The Environment: The Green Revolution", Sam Geall (Ed); Zed Books, 2013
[click to view]

A 2010 Study by ENGOs about the Heavy Metal Pollution by the IT Brand Supply Chain (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

First report from 2010: "The Other Side of Apple" (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

[1] New York Times: "How the US lost out on iPhone Work" (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

[2] New York Times: "After Suicides, Scrutiny of China’s Grim Factories" (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

[4] Article on "Apple: back under the spotlight" (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

[6] Article on "Living with Foxonn" (accessed on 07.02.2019)
[click to view]

[7] "Foxconn halts production at plant after mass brawl"(accessed on 13.02.2019)
[click to view]

[8] "富士康再陷苹果污染门 遭居民多次投诉空气污染" (Foxconn relapses in Apples pollution gate, following residents repeated complaints about air pollution)

(accessed on 13.02.2019)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[7] Presentation about the case, published by Xueli Zhang for the Wilson Center.
[click to view]

[9] Taiwan TV-Station: "富士康太原廠千名員工暴動 公安武警千人鎮壓" (Foxconn Taiyuan factory thousand employees riots Public security armed police thousands of people suppressed) (accessed: 13.02.2019)
[click to view]

[10] Online forum discussion on Tianya about the pollution of Foxconn in Taiyuan, including pictures made by residents
[click to view]

The Other Side of Apple II: Pollution Spreads through China's Water Supply Chain
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice, ICTA-UAB/LUX 2019
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:4002
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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