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Apple has a huge trouble with its supplier’s iPhone factory in China

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A violent workers’ revolt at the world’s largest iPhone factory this week in central China is further scrambling Apple’s strained supply and highlighting how the country’s stringent zero-Covid policy is hurting global technology firms.

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The troubles started last month when workers left the factory campus in Zhengzhou, the capital of the central province of Henan, due to Covid fears. Short on staff, bonuses were offered to workers to return.

But protests broke out this week when the newly hired staff said management had reneged on their promises. The workers, who clashed with security officers wearing hazmat suits, were eventually offered cash to quit and leave.

Analysts said the woes facing Taiwan contract manufacturing firm Foxconn, a top Apple supplier which owns the facility, will also speed up the pace of diversification away from China to countries like India.

Inadequate Covid protection

The factory operator, Foxconn Technology Group, said earlier it was using “closed-loop management,” which refers to employees living at their workplace with no outside contact.

That followed a walk-out last month by thousands of employees over complaints about inadequate anti-virus protection and a lack of help for coworkers who fell ill.

Apple Inc. warned earlier that deliveries of its new iPhone 14 model would be delayed due to anti-disease controls imposed on the Zhengzhou factory. The city government suspended access to an industrial zone that surrounds the factory, which Foxconn has said employs 200,000 people.

Foxconn, headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, didn’t immediately respond to a request for information about the situation.

  • November 26, 2022
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