A strike has broken out at a south China factory supplying parts to local Honda Motor car assembly operations. It's the latest in a string of stoppages by Chinese workers at mostly foreign-owned companies demanding higher pay.

The strike, at Atsumitec in Foshan, began on Monday, with workers striking after management fired about 100 workers, an anonymous worker told Reuters.

"There are now about 170 workers on strike, almost all the Chinese staff in the factory," he said.

A Honda spokeswoman in Tokyo said the factory supplies gear levers to the car maker's local plants and said the workers had been on strike since 12 July.

She said the action has not yet had any impact on Honda's car making operations in China, some of which were affected last month by strikes at other partsmakers.

The new strike marks the end of a couple of weeks of relative calm for foreign-run Chinese factories. Stoppages by workers demanding pay increases had disrupted operations for several weeks in May and June.

"I'm not surprised to see another strike breaking out," said Geoffrey Crothall of the China Labour Bulletin.

"The increases in minimum wage announced in several places in China this month might be enough to take the edge off of worker discontent, but it's not enough. The basic problems of low pay, long working hours and the lack of effective communication between workers and management are still there."

Various cities in China are raising their minimum wage by 20% but multinationals typically pay above this threshold, Reuters noted.

Meanwhile, a China-based executive at Toyota, which has also been affected by labour unrest, told China's official Xinhua news agency the automaker was confident it could handle such situations in future.

The report, unrelated to the labour action in Foshan, cited Liu Peng of Toyota Motor (China) Investment, saying the company was confident it could "properly handle labour disputes, which are increasingly being heard as Chinese workers become more vocal about their interests".

"In the long-term, Toyota will also build a platform for better communication between management and employees," Liu was quoted as saying.

"The chance of more strikes increases the more successful the previous strikes are. There's been more and more communication between workers and advocacy groups,"  Duncan Innes-Ker, Beijing-based China analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, told Reuters.

"The workers have networks to exchange information even when there has been a state media blackout. The example set in one place tends to encourage others."

Earlier strikes disrupted production at Toyota and Honda.