Protests Erupt at iPhone’s Chip Facility in China

Protests Erupt at iPhone’s Chip Facility in China

Videos Spread Online Tell of Violence at Foxconn Facility

Protests emerged at the factory in central China, where the massive facility employs over 200,000 people. Workers clashed with police following demonstrations outside the plant.

According to witness videos, workers at the Foxconn Technology Group plant rushed out of dormitories early on Wednesday. They jostled and pushed past the white-clad security forces they vastly outnumbered. In another video, several white-suited individuals beat someone lying on the ground with sticks. As crowds pushed past barriers, onlookers yelled, “Fight, fight!”. Several people gathered around an occupied police vehicle and started rocking it while screaming incomprehensibly.

According to an eyewitness who requested anonymity for fear of persecution, the strike began overnight over non-payment of wages and the spread of disease. According to sources, several employees were injured, and law enforcement officers came to restore order.

Foxconn’s Commentary

Foxconn acknowledged the unrest was connected to new employees’ worries about their pay in a statement released on Wednesday. According to the corporation, it has always maintained its payment obligations above pay and will speak with workers and the government to avoid a recurrence of the event. No one from the police in charge of the region responded.

According to one fresh recruit, “There’s practically no security in the factory campus” as of Wednesday at noon. He claimed that since food services had halted, he and others had resorted to looting milk, bread, and boxes of instant noodles from supply stations.

Apple forecasted lower-than-projected shipments of its top-end iPhone devices earlier this month due to the interruptions. According to Counterpoint Research, Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant was supposed to produce over 80% of the most recent iPhone 14 base models and 85% of the top-end Pro devices. According to those knowledgeable, Apple has recently requested manufacturers to prepare more actively for rising output outside of China, citing tight disease regulations.

Wider Implications of This Week’s Protests

Since the lockdown began in October, there have been a few rare instances of violence at the plant in Zhengzhou’s central city. Several of the more than 200,000 people working at “iPhone City” have been pushed into isolation. They were also forced to eat meager meals and seek medication on shoestring pay.

Xi Jinping’s Covid Zero policy is becoming increasingly costly for the economy and disrupting parts of the international supply chain. In recent weeks, Beijing issued new instructions to officials demanding they minimize disruption and employ more targeted Covid controls. But local authorities have had to return to harsh controls due to fast outbreaks in key cities.

At a time of shifting policy and uncertain trade relationships, the Foxconn incident brings up another example of the perils for Apple. Relying on a vast manufacturing system centered in China is questionable. Apple’s most important manufacturing facility is located in Zhengzhou. Apple announced this month that shipments of its newest premium smartphones would be lower than expected.