SHAOGUAN, Guangdong: In stark contrast to the deadly brawl on its grounds on June 26 that allegedly sparked the latest riots in the Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi, peace fell upon the toy factory in Shaoguan, Guangdong province, Monday.
No police cars or security forces were at the scene. No security guards attempted to stop reporters from entering the factory.
But on June 26, the factory was the scene of a fight involving hundreds of people. The riots began about 2 am, leaving two dead and 118 injured.
Xinjiang authorities later said some overseas opposition forces used Shaoguan's brawl to instigate Sunday's riot in Xinjiang.
Monday, the factory was hiring more workers, but applicants had to first show their ID cards to prove they were not from Xinjiang.
More than 800 of the factory's 10,000 workers, of the Uygur minority group, were moved to three temporary shelters in the city after the brawl.
The fight broke out after a disgruntled former factory worker allegedly made a false post online that "six Xinjiang boys had raped two innocent girls at the Xuri Toy Factory," officials said.
The rumor was reportedly first posted on www.sg169.com, a major website in Shaoguan, and then re-run on many other websites, triggering the brawl.
Police later said no rape cases have been reported since May in the district where the factory is located. Authorities have detained the worker.
The suspect quit working at the factory, then wished to be rehired, but the company refused, police said.
Then he faked the rape information to express his discontent with the factory, police said.
Police would not release the man's full name and only gave his family name as Zhu.
About 400 police had to be deployed to evacuate people on the site, with the violence lasting until early morning that day.
Those who were injured in the factory brawl have been hospitalized at the Yuebei People's Hospital in Shaoguan. About half of them are of the Uygur ethnic group. Visits to the hospital by China Daily Monday found them being treated in a special ward guarded by police, restricted from the public.