Workers flee Foxconn, China’s largest iPhone factory, by climbing fences and walking down highways amid COVID fears, photos and videos show
Workers are reportedly fleeing the world’s largest iPhone factory amid a Covid outbreak.
Photos and videos of workers fleeing the Zhengzhou compound are circulating online.
Foxconn said it is arranging transportation for workers who want to go home for an “orderly return.”
Workers at the world’s largest iPhone factory in China are reportedly fleeing the plant in droves, fearing strict COVID-19 restrictions following an outbreak.
The plant in the city of Zhengzhou in the central Chinese province of Henan employs over 200,000 people. she make up the majority of the world’s iPhones. The facilities have been hit by a COVID-19 outbreak, triggering strict pandemic containment restrictions under China Covid zero politics and deteriorating living conditions, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing five workers.
A looming food shortage became a source of unrest as only those working the production lines received food boxes, Bloomberg said Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. Workers infected with COVID-19 or afraid to leave their dormitories were given only basic necessities such as bread and instant noodles, the media outlet reported.
Dramatic photos and videos of Foxconn workers fleeing the Zhengzhou compound have made their way onto the internet. A video appears to show this Workers carrying bags their belongings while they set off on foot.
A videoposted by BBC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonell appears to show workers climbing 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 is “very aware that in the current situation, it is a protracted struggle to maintain the health and safety of more than 200,000 employees at Foxconn is Zhengzhou Park.” The company made no reference to the social media posts.
Foxconn said it continues to implement pandemic prevention measures at Zhengzhou Park, including setting up a 24-hour hotline for employees. It added that the outbreak is stabilizing and there is an adequate supply of essentials.
“For some employees who wish to return home, the park is working with the government to organize staff and vehicles to provide an orderly point-to-point employee return service starting today,” Foxconn said. The company will coordinate with its other factories to minimize the impact on production capacity, it said.
The Foxconn outbreak came just as Apple enters its crucial retail holiday quarter. Apple has already warned about this slowing growth in fourth quarterbecause a strong US dollar and supply problems from higher-end iPhone models. Events at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant could cut Apple’s November output by as much as 30%. Reuters reported Monday, citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, which was sent outside of regular business hours.
Foxconn shares were flat on Monday, trading at 45.50 New Taiwan dollars, or $1.41 apiece, on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
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