Taiwan-based electronics company Foxconn Technology Group–more commonly known as one of Apple’s iPhone manufacturers–is facing employees who staged a rare violent protest at the firm’s plant in Zhengzhou city on Wednesday, focusing attention on the economic and social costs of Xi Jinping’s Covid Zero plan.
Workers stated in social media videos that they were informed by Foxconn that bonus payments will be delayed. Some employees also complained about being forced to share dormitories with coworkers who tested positive for COVID.
Since late October, numerous workers have gone, their escapes documented on social media, as discontent grew over how COVID cases were handled and employee treatment, including what they claimed were insufficient food rations.
In another online video, several white-suited people pounded a person laying on the ground with sticks. “Fight, fight!” screamed onlookers as crowds pushed their way past barricades. At one point, numerous people approached an occupied police car and started shaking it while screaming incoherently.
At least ten people reportedly have died in the fatal clash between protestors and authorities.
The major rallies had subsided by Thursday, and the business was speaking with employees involved in smaller protests, according to a Foxconn source familiar with the situation.
“Our team has been looking into the matter and discovered a technical error occurred during the onboarding process,” Foxconn said in a statement, referring to the hiring of new workers. “We apologize for an input error in the computer system and guarantee that the actual pay is the same as agreed and the official recruitment posters.”
The Taiwanese corporation stated that it would honor the preferences of new recruits who wished to resign and leave the manufacturing campus, and that it would provide them with “care subsidies.” It has reportedly begun to provide a 10,000 yuan ($1,400) incentive to employees who will choose to quit the company.
According to an online announcement, the cash, which will be paid out in two payments, would enable staff to go home safely. Many of the 200,000 or so employees at Foxconn’s main plant in Zhengzhou are from other parts of the province or country. A spokesperson confirmed the project but provided no other information.
The protests highlighted how Xi’s program, which relies on quick lockdowns to eradicate the disease wherever it appears, is putting a strain on the economy and causing havoc in the global supply system.
Beijing recently issued fresh orders for officials to reduce disruption and employ more targeted Covid regulations, but rising outbreaks in major cities have driven local authorities to revert to stricter controls. After the Zhengzhou riots, the local administration declared “movement controls” in portions of the city until Nov. 29.
Information for this briefing was found via Bloomberg, Reuters, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.