Workers at the world’s largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China, recently rioted over delayed payments and poor living conditions brought on by harsh zero-Covid measures, although the factory is now expected to resume full production between late December and early January, as reported by Reuters.
- Reuters cited an unnamed source in saying that plant operator Foxconn, one of Apple’s major suppliers, has started hiring new workers in an effort to scale up production once again.
- The report estimates that full production could resume in “around three to four weeks” if the recruitment drive, which is being supported by the local government, goes as planned.
- This hiring push by Foxconn comes just weeks after nearly 20,000 disgruntled workers accepted the company’s offer of 10,000 ($1,400) compensation to leave the plant.
- The report continues by saying that the plant’s “stabilization” follows recent “turbulence” caused by worker protests and strict Covid restrictions.
- The majority of the iPhone 14 Pro models are assembled in the Zhengzhou factory, but Apple has managed to diversify its iPhone manufacturing line, with contractors making some of its devices in India and Vietnam.
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According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has accelerated its plans to move some manufacturing outside of China in light of the recent difficulties in Chinese manufacturing. The report claims that Apple has begun pressuring its suppliers to relocate product assembly to countries like Vietnam and India, which currently produce the iPhone 14 and a few older models.
This number is 6,000,000. Because of the recent disruption at the Zhengzhou plant, Apple is likely to face a shortfall in production of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Apple’s initial goal for this year was to produce 90 million iPhone 14 devices.
Workers and security guards at Foxconn’s “iPhone City” factory in Zhengzhou, China, fought each other last month. The poor living conditions and worries over late bonus payments reportedly sparked the protest. Workers in China were confined to their facilities, with no access to the outside world beyond the factory and dormitories, thanks to the strict COVID control measures in place.
Workers were upset because they had heard rumors that the promised bonus payment would be withheld unless they remained at the factory through March.
After a large number of workers left the plant in October because they were afraid of the strict COVID rules after a break-out, the bonus payments were a big part of the plan to get new people to work at the plant. Clashes at “iPhone City” occurred amid widespread demonstrations against China’s “zero-covid” policy, which includes severe lockdowns and frequent mass testing.