Foxconn logo: Fragile situation in important plant
Photo: Chiang Ying-ying/AP
Reports of extremely poor conditions at the Foxconn factory in the eastern Chinese metropolis of Zhengzhou have been circulating for weeks.
There have been reports of workers being locked up as a result of a strict corona lockdown.
According to reports on social media, there have now been protests and riots around the world's largest iPhone factory due to the strict corona measures in China.
Videos on social media showed more than a hundred people posing as Foxconn employees.
At the plant in the Chinese industrial city of Zhengzhou, they tore down barriers and clashed with people in protective suits.
Men with sticks banged on surveillance cameras and windows of a building at the site, according to scenes broadcast live on short video platform Kuaishou.
Some videos showed workers complaining about the food provided to them.
Others said they did not receive the bonus payments promised.
The authenticity of the videos could not initially be verified independently.
Foxconn did not immediately respond to inquiries.
The Zhengzhou plant is responsible for 70 percent of global iPhone production and employs around 200,000 workers.
Apple is already expecting fewer iPhone deliveries due to the production disruptions.
A few weeks ago, thousands of employees fled the plant for fear of infection or the strict measures taken.
Foxconn then promised workers higher wages if they decided to return despite the corona restrictions.
The plant continued to operate in a so-called »closed circuit«.
Employees were not allowed to leave the factory premises.
The keyword “Foxconn riots” was blocked on the Chinese short message service Weibo on Wednesday.
However, some texts relating to the protests at the Foxconn factory could still be called up.
Last week there were also protests against the government's corona measures in the southern Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou.
Angry migrant workers tore down numerous barricades there.
As the rest of the world tries to live with the virus, China continues to implement a strict zero-Covid strategy of lockdowns, mass daily testing, strict control, contact tracing and forced quarantine.
Nevertheless, the number of new infections has increased sharply again in the past few weeks.
Authorities reported 28,883 new local cases for Tuesday, down from 27,899 the day before, near April's daily highs.
In many places, the measures have been tightened to prevent further infections.
In Shanghai, the second day of the China Automotive Overseas Development Summit was canceled.
In the city, travelers are not allowed to enter malls and restaurants within five days of arrival.
In Beijing, where another daily high was reached with 1,486 cases, shopping malls, restaurants, museums and parks remain largely closed.
China could face bad weeks
This means that plans for a reopening of the world's second largest economy are still in question.
"The next few weeks could be the worst in China since the first few weeks of the pandemic, both for the economy and for the healthcare system," wrote analysts at Capital Economics.
It is unlikely that the authorities will deviate from their strict zero-Covid course in winter, but at the same time there is a considerable risk that the containment efforts will fail.
This is likely to cause unprecedented damage to the Chinese economy.
The large production centers of Chongqing and Guangzhou have been recording high case numbers for days, which account for the majority of China's total cases.