Apple's Secrecy: Guards Attack Reuters Reporter At Apple Factory In China

Reuters has a great article about how Apple is ramping up security at their manufacturing site in the south China city of Longhua.

Reuters describes the place as an "industrial fortress" -- and the military metaphor is not out of place. The Reuters correspondent was actually attacked by two guards while attempting to explore a nearby Foxconn plant which was allegedly manufacturing parts for Apple, too.

The correspondent got out [of his car] and insisted he was within his rights as he was on the main road. The guard grabbed his arm. A second guard ran over, and with a crowd of Foxconn workers watching, they tried dragging him into the factory.

The reporter asked to be let go. When that didn't happen, he jerked himself free and started walking off. The older guard kicked him in the leg, while the second threatened to hit him again if he moved.

The police were then called and they settled the matter: the guards apologized and the reporter left, but no complaint was filed. "You're free to do what you want," the policeman told the Reuters reporter, "But this is Foxconn and they have a special status here. Please understand."

Apple is notorious for the high premium it places on secrecy, and is one of the most tight-lipped companies in its industry with regard to announcements and developments.

Reuters suggests that the Foxconn attack may be part of the company 'shroud of secrecy' at Apple, which extends beyond Cupertino to Apple's suppliers in China and beyond.

The tightly controlled manufacturing complex at Foxconn "reduces the likelihood of leaks, which in turn lessens the risk of incurring the wrath of Apple and its chief executive, Steve Jobs, whose product launches have turned into long-running, tightly controlled media spectacles," writes Reuters.

Gizmodo has a rundown here of Apple's "Worldwide Loyalty Team" (nicknamed the "Apple Gestapo") and the lengths the company goes to to protect its secrets.