COVID lockdown in China zone threatens new tensions at major Apple iPhone supplier | Business News


A Chinese industrial park that hosts a major supplier of iPhones for Apple has announced a fresh COVID-19 lockdown, threatening further discontent over pandemic restrictions at the plant.

The Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone in central China houses Foxconn’s plant responsible for 70% of global iPhone shipments.

The factory, which has a staggering 200,000 workers, had only recently offered higher bonuses – reportedly worth more than £40 a day – in a bid to retain staff after multiple reports of people leaving with luggage.

The workers heading for the exit were said to be sick of curbs on their movements this year amid China’s zero-COVID policy.

Foxconn had earlier told the Reuters news agency, on Sunday, that its campus continued to operate under a “closed-loop management” system.

That refers to a bubble-like arrangement commonly imposed as part of virus prevention measures in the country where employees sleep, live and work isolated from the wider world.

Workers from Foxconn are said to be leaving the plant in China to avoid COVID lockdown
Workers from Foxconn were said to be leaving the plant in China to avoid COVID lockdown restrictions

It was unclear how the business park’s lockdown, until 9 November, would affect Foxconn’s operations though the restrictions mean that no one can leave or arrive.

Only food and medicine supplies are allowed in.

The measures were announced despite authorities unexpectedly lifting partial restrictions on Zhengzhou’s nearly 13 million people earlier this week, even as local infection numbers rose.

The park also locked down earlier this year in late April for 14 days.

Foxconn said at the time that its production at the plant was normal. Apple was yet to comment.

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Shanghai Disney hit by COVID lockdown

Chinese stock markets have enjoyed a strong week on the back of unconfirmed speculation that the country’s tough stance on tackling the virus is to end.

However, the message from official channels continues to be one that the zero-COVID policy remains.

Also this week, visitors to Shanghai Disneyland were temporarily barred from leaving as part of virus-testing procedures after a visitor was found to have COVID.


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