CCP locks down largest iPhone factory for 'Covid restrictions' after mass protests

On Friday, six million people in Zhengzhou, China were forced under lockdown by the government, including the tens of thousands of workers at the country's largest iPhone plant.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

On Friday, six million people in Zhengzhou, China were forced under lockdown by the government, including the tens of thousands of workers at the country's largest iPhone plant

The move comes just days after violent clashes erupted at the Foxconn factory between workers and law enforcement over deceptive contracts.

According to the Hong Kong Free Press, authorities in Zhengzhou ordered those living in eight of the city's districts to quarantine for five days. Despite a relatively low number of Covid-19 cases reported, barriers were constructed around buildings deemed to be "high risk," and manned checkpoints were set up to catch anyone trying to escape.

On Wednesday night, workers took to the streets in a rare showing of dissent and were met by scores of law enforcement officers dressed in white. Things quickly turned violent, with protestors damaging property and officers, in turn, hurting protestors. 

For the thousands of new recruits, who had been wooed with high salaries to replace the thousands who had fled the factory in October, things got to be too much, and they were left with no other option than to take to the streets.

Unrest continued into the day, with more law enforcement showing up to beat protestors.

As the South China Morning Post reports, Foxconn eventually offered new recruits the equivalent of US$1,400 to leave the plant, terms which many accepted. Those just coming into the city to start working at the plant, however, were turned away by the company and sent to quarantine hotels on the outskirts of town.

For their troubles, Foxconn promised to pay, however, according to the Hong Kong Free Press, only a fraction of the stated amount was handed out, with some not being given anything at all. 

Things got so out of hand that Apple released a statement announcing that they had sent a team over to Zhengzhou to assess the situation.

"We have Apple team members on the ground at our supplier Foxconn's Zhengzhou facility," a spokesperson for the tech company said on Friday. "We are reviewing the situation and working closely with Foxconn to ensure their employees' concerns are addressed."

In its attempt to reach "zero-Covid," China has resorted to locking down citizens and instituting brutal restrictions on movement.


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