Supply fears China lockdown hits world’s largest iPhone factory | Porcelain

Chinese authorities have announced a seven-day coronavirus lockdown in the area around the world’s largest iPhone factory, fueling concerns that production will be severely curtailed before the Christmas period.

Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant, which employs around 200,000 people, produces most of Apple’s new phones, including the new iPhone 14.

It has been rocked by discontent over strict measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, with workers fleeing the site over the weekend after complaining about his treatment and dispositions through social networks. Nearby cities have drawn up plans to isolate migrant workers fleeing to their hometowns, to prevent the spread of the virus.

People leaving the Foxconn compound in Zhengzhou on Saturday.
People leaving the Foxconn compound in Zhengzhou on Saturday. Photograph: Hangpai Xingyang/AP

Zhengzhou airport economic zone in the center Porcelain It said that starting at noon on Wednesday, it would place the 415-square-kilometre industrial park housing the plant under China’s lowest “static management” lockdown level until noon on Nov. 9.

An official statement said residents in the area, about 16 miles southeast of Zhengzhou, were not allowed to leave their homes and had to undergo a PCR test once a day. Public transport services are suspended and only approved vehicles are allowed to circulate. Other measures include the closure of offices, shops and non-essential services.

The statement said any violation of the rules would be “severely dealt with” by the police and urged people to cooperate to “gain victory in this district’s fight against the epidemic.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who recently won an unprecedented third term as Communist Party chief at the 20th party congress, has insisted on a “zero covid” policy and repeatedly called for “struggles” against political challenges and of another kind.

A nearly month-long lockdown in Zhengzhou had sparked complaints of harsh conditions, sometimes violent enforcement, inadequate medical care and worsening mental health.

It has drawn national attention, particularly after hundreds of Foxconn workers fled last week by jumping the fences of the factory’s “closed-loop” quarantine system. On Tuesday, likely in response to criticism, authorities announced the easing of restrictions, but residents said controls remained tight and Foxconn said had quadrupled the bonds on offer at the plant while seeking to retain staff.

Zhengzhou, the capital of the central province of Henan, has a population of about 12 million people. Zhengzhou health authorities reported 64 new cases and 294 new asymptomatic cases as of Tuesday.

On the Weibo social media platform, some questioned why the restrictions were kept in place, just one day after the alleged relaxation.

“Is everyone back to normal now? Shall we go back to work? Wasn’t the lockdown lifted yesterday? Is Foxconn also under ‘static management’? one post said. “Under what conditions will the lockdown end? These endless ‘static steps’, endless PCR tests… Don’t we need to pay off our car loans and mortgages? another said.

Before Wednesday’s announcement, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source, that Apple’s iPhone production in Zhengzhou could drop as much as 30% next month due to tightening restrictions, but that Foxconn was trying to ramp up production. in another factory in Shenzhen, in the south of China. to make up the deficit.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Further investigation by Xiaoqian Zhu

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