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Protests at largest iPhone factory in China: Violence, insufficient food, and unpaid bonuses

Published Nov 23rd, 2022 7:59AM EST
iPhone 14 Camera
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Hundreds of workers at Foxconn’s largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou province, China, are protesting due to delayed bonus payment, insufficient food, and frustration with the country’s harsh COVID-19 rules. These protests come amid a severe lockdown early this month, with workers having to sleep in the factory while trying to produce the new iPhone 14 series – currently low in stock worldwide.

According to Reuters, online images show hundreds of Foxconn workers protesting with surveillance cameras and windows smashed by men with sticks. The publication says this protest “symbolizes a dangerous build-up in frustration with the country’s ultra-harsh COVID rules as well as inept handling of the situation by the world’s largest contract manufacturer.”

Footage of the protest shows that Foxconn workers are demanding the payment of their bonus to work during this month’s COVID-19 lockdown, tear gas being deployed, and workers taking down quarantine barriers.

In a statement, Foxconn said that it has paid workers and that information about infected staff living on campus alongside new recruits was “untrue.”

“Regarding any violence, the company will continue to communicate with employees and the government to prevent similar incidents from happening again,” the company added.

A person familiar with the matter said that even with the protests, the plant was “unaffected,” meaning that iPhone 14 production is still up.

Previously, Reuters reported Foxconn’s plans to resume the iPhone 14 total production by the second half of November. One of the publication’s sources said the manufacturer is unlikely to hit the target due to “disruptions triggered by the unrest” as it impacts “particularly new recruits who were hired to bridge the gap in the workforce.”

Early this month, Apple provided an unusual statement regarding the situation with its supply chain by saying people are willing to buy the iPhone 14 Pro models, but the company can’t keep up with demand.

We continue to see strong demand for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models. However, we now expect lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated and customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products.

BGR will keep reporting on Foxconn’s largest iPhone factory protest as we learn more about it.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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