China: Foxconn iPhone workers scuffle with security over COVID regulations: Tensions at Apple’s primary iPhone manufacturing facility in China increased after nearly a month of rigorous restrictions were imposed to combat a COVID-19 pandemic. Foxconn Technology Group workers, it has been reported, poured out of dorms early on Wednesday morning, pushing and shoving past the outnumbered white-clad security guards.
Many videos of the incident, featuring several people in white suits beating a victim with sticks, have been circulating on social media. Supporters yelled “fight, fight!” as hundreds of people pushed over barricades. Many people surrounded a police car and began shaking it and shouting at the officers inside.
WATCH: #BNNChina Reports.
Hundreds of workers at Apple Inc.'s main iPhone-making plant in China clashed with security personnel, as tensions flared following nearly a month of stringent restrictions imposed to combat a Covid epidemic. #China #Protest pic.twitter.com/b7VYR7iLcv
— Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) November 23, 2022
Reports indicate that the demonstration started overnight for issues including unpaid wages and fears of an infectious disease outbreak. After several employees were injured on Tuesday, anti-riot police were called in on Wednesday to bring things back to normal. In one clip, irate workers confront a sullen manager over the validity of their COVID-19 exam results by surrounding him in a conference room.
#Foxconn's #ICantBreathe in communist #china's Zhengzhou, after a night of Foxconn riot clashing with CCP police firing tear gas grenades, the resistance continued next morning. Riot police ganged up on Foxconn rioter, kicking & stomping on his head to cause grave injury. pic.twitter.com/1k7RkBziAg
— Northrop Gundam ∀🦅⚔️ (@GundamNorthrop) November 23, 2022
One of the male employees was quoted as stating, “I’m genuinely concerned about this place, we all could be COVID-positive now.” The second one cried, “You are sending us to death!” Since the suspension began in October, there have been isolated incidences of violence at the factory in Zhengzhou’s central business district. Many of the 200,000 people who work in “iPhone City” have been forced to live in isolation, eating poorly and going without the medicine they need to stay alive.
Workers were seen urgently trying to escape the building in a previous video from the premises.
BREAKING: Media reports of new violent protests in China at iPhone factory. In recent days, people have been trying to escape due to lockdowns. https://t.co/XHXC3EybrG
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) November 23, 2022
A large number of employees and visitors left the factory on foot last month. By increasing pay and improving working conditions, Foxconn and the local government appeared to have taken control of the issue in recent weeks. Wednesday morning’s protests, however, show that this is no longer the case.
Xi Jinping’s zero COVID approach, which relies on fast lockdowns to eradicate the illness wherever it arises, is steadily dragging on the economy and wreaking havoc on the global supply chain, as this report demonstrates. In response to mounting breakouts in key cities, local authorities have reverted to tougher controls, despite new orders from Beijing instructing officials to minimize disturbance and impose more targeted COVID-19 measures.
Due to a spike in instances and a few deaths, authorities in China’s capital have closed schools, parks, shopping centers, and museums this week and urged locals to stay home instead of venturing out. Investors who were hoping for fewer COVID regulations are now worried that the disease would spread. The current increase in cases and the potential of future deaths would impede China’s intentions to reopen after March of next year, as was indicated this week.
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As a result of the COVID-19 laws, there has been sporadic violence in China. Protests sprang out in the southern industrial powerhouse of Guangdong, and hundreds of workers clashed with security agents at Quanta Computer’s Shanghai plant in May after being cut off from the outside world for months. Apple’s dependence on a vast production machine headquartered in China amid a time of unpredictable policy and shaky economic connections has been brought into sharp focus by the Foxconn debacle.
Zhengzhou is Apple’s most important production center, responsible for the creation of around four out of every five of the company’s most recent products, including the great majority of the highest-end iPhone 14 Pro units. Apple has warned this month that it will release fewer of its newest high-end iPhones than expected in time for the holiday shopping season.