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CHENNAI: Apple Inc supplier Foxconn will reopen an iPhone manufacturing facility in southern India on Wednesday with 500 workers, government officials and a legislator in the region where the plant is located told Reuters.

The Foxconn plant, in the town of Sriperumbudur near the Tamil Nadu state capital of Chennai, employed about 17,000 people but was closed on Dec. 18 after protests over 250 of its workers who fell sick with food poisoning.

Apple has since placed the factory on probation after discovering that some dormitories and dining rooms did not meet required standards.

Foxconn and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

K Selvaperunthagai, a member of the state assembly for the area, said the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin told the assembly late on Friday the plant would reopen on Wednesday with 500 workers.

Government officials have said Foxconn intended to resume production gradually but have not said when the full workforce would be back on the job.

Foxconn has been making the iPhone 12 and testing production of the iPhone 13 at the Sriperumbudur facility, its only plant in India, government officials have said. Apple has eight other suppliers in India.

Selvaperunthagai told Reuters the state government would build a hostel facility with a capacity to house tens of thousands of workers from various industries to address the concerns about standards of dormitories and dining facilities.

"The government is clear that they don't want such incidents to happen again," he said.

Tamil Nadu, a state of more than 70 million people and one of the country's most industrialised, is sometimes called the "Detroit of Asia". It is home to factories of companies including BMW, Daimler, Hyundai, Nissan and Renault.

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