Workers at Apple supplier Foxconn flee China’s biggest iPhone factory

  • Workers are reportedly fleeing the world’s largest iPhone factory in droves amid a Covid outbreak.
  • Photos and videos of workers fleeing the Zhengzhou complex have circulated online.
  • Foxconn said it is arranging transport for workers who wish to return home for an “orderly return”.

Workers at the world’s biggest iPhone factory in China are fleeing the factory in droves amid fears of tough COVID-19 restrictions following an outbreak, according to reports.

The factory, located in the city of Zhengzhou, in the central province of Henan in China, employs more than 200,000 people. They make the majority of iPhones in the world. The facilities were hit by an outbreak of COVID-19, which triggered strict pandemic containment restrictions under China’s Covid-zero policy and worsened living conditions, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing five workers.

A risk of food shortages has become a source of unrest as only those working on production lines have received meal boxes, Bloomberg said on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. Workers infected with COVID-19, or those worried about leaving their dormitories, received only basic supplies such as bread and instant noodles, the outlet reported.

Spectacular photos and videos of Foxconn workers escaping from the Zhengzhou complex have made their way online. A video appears to show the workers carrying bags of their business by walking out.

A videopublished by Stephen McDonell, BBC China correspondent, appears to show workers scaling fences to escape the facility.

Insider could not independently verify the videos.

Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Technology Group in China and Taiwan, said in a statement to Insider that it was “very aware that in the current situation, it is a protracted battle to protect the health and safety of more than 200,000 Foxconn employees. Zhengzhou Park.” The company made no reference to the social media posts.

Foxconn said it continues to implement pandemic prevention measures in the Zhengzhou park, including setting up a 24-hour hotline for employees. He added that the epidemic is stabilizing and there is an adequate supply of basic necessities.

“For some employees who wish to return home, the park is cooperating with the government to organize staff and vehicles to provide point-to-point orderly return service for employees, starting today,” Foxconn said. . The company will coordinate with its other factories to minimize the impact on production capacity, he said.

The Foxconn outbreak happened just as Apple enters the crucial holiday quarter for retail. Apple has previously warned of slower growth in the fourth quarter, due to a strong US dollar and supply issues for high-end iPhone models. Events at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory could cut Apple’s production in November by 30%, Reuters reported on Monday, citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, which was sent outside of normal business hours.

Foxconn shares are flat on Monday, trading at 45.50 New Taiwan dollars, or $1.41 apiece, on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

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