China Orders COVID Lockdown In Zhengzhou City Amid iPhone Factory Protests

Beijing: Chinese city Zhengzhou, which is home to a flagship iPhone factory, has imposed a COVID-19 lockdown in several districts after a series of protests erupted at the key facility, according to the Global Times

.While addressing the press on Wednesday evening, the city authority asked its residents in the downtown area to stay at home from Friday till next Tuesday as the new cases found at the community level remain high, Global Times reported.

This comes amid the protest that erupted at Foxconn’s flagship iPhone plant in Zhengzhou city where men and women were captured in the footage marching with some of them confronted by people in Hazmat suits and riot police, Reuters reported citing videos circulated on social media.

The protests in China mark an escalation of unrest at the massive factory in Zhengzhou city. The workers were frustrated with the delayed bonus payments, as the demonstrators said on Livestream feeds. The videos could not be immediately verified by Reuters.

This protest symbolises a dangerous build-up of frustration with the country’s ultra-harsh COVID rules as well as the inept handling of the situation by the world’s largest contract manufacturer.

The workers, surrounded by people in full Hazmat suits with some carrying batons, chanted “Give us our pay!” according to the footage shown.

While another footage showed tear gas being deployed and workers taking down quarantine barriers. Some workers had complained that they were forced to share dormitories with colleagues who had tested positive for COVID-19, Reuters reported.

Refuting the allegations, Foxconn said in a statement it had fulfilled its payment contracts and that reports of infected staff living on campus with new recruits were “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.

Earlier, a similar incident was reported in the city around October. Droves of migrant workers have been fleeing back to their hometowns from the country’s largest iPhone factory in Covid-hit Zhengzhou.

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