A major fire engulfed Foxconn Technology Group's main iPhone manufacturing complex in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou on 24 January, but there are no reports of casualties or production loss, according to the company. The fire, which is reported to have originated from the central air conditioning fan and ventilation ducts on the roof, swept through several floors of the factory before it was put out.
Apple is one of Foxconn's leading clients and produces the iPhone, the iPad and the iPad mini for the company. Although no statement was issued by Apple, Foxconn on 25 January confirmed that the fire broke out but there was not much damage. The factory was rumoured to have started production of an upcoming entry-level model for Apple known as the iPhone 5se or iPhone 5e (official name not known).
There have been previous fires and explosions at Foxconn factories, the most serious of which was at an iPad 2 production facility in 2011, when three workers were killed and 15 injured. That incident had a major impact on iPad production.
Reports have also emerged in the past about pathetic working conditions at Foxconn's factories. Complaints range from employing underage workers to frequent suicides due to working conditions. To ward off the negative publicity, Foxconn recently announced that it was building a "technology tourism factory" to open its doors to people wanting to see how its factories manufacture the millions of devices.
Apart from being an Apple supplier, Foxconn is a major manufacturer for HP, Dell, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia and Sony.