Workers Flee Apple's China Factory Following Covid Lockdown

apple 110122 lt

According to reports, workers at the biggest Apple iPhone assembly factory in China have run away from the premises after a spurt of Covid cases forced a complete lockdown at the factory. There is still no clarity about the number of Covid positive people in the premises.

Many videos are being shared online of around 10 people climbing over a fence outside the plant, which is owned by manufacturer Foxconn, in the central city of Zhengzhou.

As per a Reuters report, during the last week, Zhengzhou, which is the capital of Henan province, had reported 167 locally transmitted infections, higher than last week's 97. Following the outbreak, the city with a population of 10 million was put under partial lockdown even as the Chinese Government makes use of strict lockdown measures to deal with Covid.

Foxconn, which is a supplier to US-based Apple, has many workers at its Zhengzhou complex and has not provided an official count of how many are infected. The Taiwan-based company said on Sunday that it would not stop workers from leaving.

However, in videos shared online, workers were shown escaping the grounds and walking long distances back to their hometowns in a bid to not being caught on public transport.

One 22-year-old worker, surnamed Xia, told the media that it was "total chaos in the dormitories" he and colleagues were being kept in. "We jumped a plastic fence and a metal fence to get out of the campus," he added.

Workers also claimed the area surrounding the plant had been locked down for days, with Covid-positive workers being subjected to daily testing and quarantines to try to contain the outbreak.

On 19 October, Foxconn announced it was banning all dine-in catering at the Zhengzhou plant and workers would eat meals in their rooms. At the same time, the company told reporters that it was maintaining "normal production" as the factory increased production of the latest iPhone 14 models.

The company said that for those wanting to return home, "The [plant] is co-operating with the government to organise personnel and vehicles to provide a point-to-point orderly return service for employees from today".

Under China's strict zero-Covid policy, cities have been given special powers to act swiftly to stop any virus outbreaks. This includes anything from full-scale lockdowns to regular testing and travel restrictions.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Follow RTT