China locks down ‘iPhone City’ as stir worsens

BEIJING/TAIIPEI: Six million people on Friday under Covid Lock the door in a Chinese city with the world’s largest Apple Iphone factory, after a clash between the police and angry workers over wages.
Authorities have ordered residents of eight counties in ZhengzhouIn the central province of Henan, do not leave the area for the next five days, erecting barriers around “high-risk” apartment buildings and checkpoints to restrict movement.
There are only a handful of Covid cases in the city but under China’s Covid-free policy, even small outbreaks can cause grueling lockdowns, travel restrictions and daily testing. series.
The Zhengzhou lockdown comes after protests by hundreds of employees over conditions and pay at Foxconn’s sprawling iPhone factory on the outskirts of the city, with images of the protests Just appeared on Friday.
The latest wave of unrest means the company’s flagship iPhone factory will see November shipments drop even further, a source with direct knowledge of the matter says. to Reuters, as thousands of employees left the factory. The source said the company could now see more than 30% of its factory’s November manufacturing operations affected, up from internal estimates of up to 30% as factory worker problems began in the coming months. The source added that this location is the only factory where Foxconn produces high-end iPhone models, including the iPhone 14 Pro, which is unlikely to resume full production by the end of this month.
A lot of workers – Reuters sources put the number at more than 20,000 – left the factory on Thursday with a payment of $1,400 from Foxconn. Videos posted on Chinese social media on Friday showed crowds and long lines of luggage-laden workers lining up to board buses. Other posts on short video apps said the Taiwanese tech giant had turned down many of the thousands of people who responded to job advertisements from the company following a series of departures last month. . Many workers told AFP that some who had come to fill newly vacated positions were sent to quarantine hotels outside the factory despite being eventually turned down for jobs.
Other videos posted online on Friday and geolocated by AFP showed angry workers smashing furniture and cursing at police in the lobby of a hotel in Nanyang city, about 280 kilometers from Zhengzhou. . The workers appear to have been quarantined in the hotel, with one man being heard in one clip: “Everyone is online, share this.”
The unrest in Zhengzhou comes amid growing public frustration over the government’s zero-tolerance approach to Covid. However, daily cases continue to hit records, with 32,965 cases reported on Friday.
Foxconn declined to comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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