Workers leave iPhone factory in Zhengzhou amid COVID curbs

Oct 30, 2022, 10:56 PM | Updated: 11:07 pm
In this photo taken from video footage and released by Hangpai Xingyang, people with suitcases and ...

In this photo taken from video footage and released by Hangpai Xingyang, people with suitcases and bags are seen leaving from a Foxconn compound in Zhengzhou in central China's Henan Province on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. Workers in a Foxconn facility in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou appear to have left the facility to avoid COVID-19 curbs, with many traveling by foot days after an unknown number of factory workers were quarantined in the facility following a virus outbreak. (Hangpai Xingyang via AP)

(Hangpai Xingyang via AP)

HONG KONG (AP) — Workers who assemble Apple Inc.’s new iPhone have walked out of their factory in northern China to avoid COVID-19 curbs after some coworkers were quarantined following a virus outbreak.

Videos circulating on Chinese social media platforms showed people said to be Foxconn workers climbing over fences and walking down a road laden with their belongings.

The scenes underscore growing public discontent with China’s “zero-COVID” strategy, where the government seeks to stamp out outbreaks by implementing strict testing, isolation and lockdown measures where infections are detected.

Outbreaks have led to entire cities going into lockdown. In the latest wave of infections, Shanghai Disney Resort said Monday that it would close as of Monday for an indefinite amount of time “to follow the requirement of pandemic prevention and control.”

In an online notice, the park apologized for the inconvenience and said it would provide refunds or exchanges for those affected by its closure.

The Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, Henan province, can accommodate up to 350,000 workers and is one of the largest factories in China assembling products for Apple Inc., including its latest iPhone 14 devices.

Not all the videos that showed workers purportedly leaving the facility could be verified. It was unclear if the workers leaving the facility had escaped or if they were allowed to leave.

Foxconn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Volunteers from nearby villages put out food and drinks for the Foxconn workers. One such volunteer, who asked to be identified only by his surname Zhang out of privacy concerns, was put in charge of distributing supplies that his village in Xingyang county had prepared. He said that the people shown in a video he uploaded to the short-video platform Douyin were Foxconn workers because they would have to take that road if they were leaving the facility.

It was unclear how many people are currently employed at the Zhengzhou factory, how many of them have left and how many were affected by factory’s COVID-19 curbs.

Earlier this week, media reports said the factory had implemented a “closed-loop” system largely restricting workers to movements between their residences and the plant.

Local media reports said that Foxconn workers complained of poor food quality and a lack of medical care for those who tested positive amid worries infections could be spreading. The company denied rumors that 20,000 people in the plant had been infected with COVID-19.

Cities near Zhengzhou have urged Foxconn workers to report to local authorities if they plan to return to their hometowns to allow preparation of appropriate isolation measures.

Posts on the Zhengzhou government’s public WeChat account said Foxconn issued notices Sunday to workers at the factory, pledging to ensure the safety, legitimate rights and incomes of those who stayed.

A day after the videos circulated of workers leaving the factory on foot, Foxconn and several local governments arranged transportation for employees choosing to return home. It wasn’t clear how much choice they were given in the matter.

___

AP video producer Liu Zheng in Beijing contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Small plane caught in power lines after crash, passengers OK

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — A small plane carrying at least two people got stuck in live power lines Sunday evening in Maryland, causing widespread power outages in the surrounding county as officials tried to extricate the aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the single-engine plane, which had departed White Plains, N.Y., […]
18 hours ago
This combination of photos provided by the Chesapeake, Va., Police Department shows top row from le...
Associated Press

Walmart shooting claims teen, young woman, father, mother

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — A 16-year-old helping his family. A custodian and father of two. A mother with wedding plans. A happy-go-lucky guy. A longtime employee. That’s how friends and family described some of the six people killed at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, when a manager opened fire with a handgun before an employee […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. walks on the sideline during a NFL division...
Associated Press

NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. taken off plane in Miami

MIAMI (AP) — NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. was removed by police from an aircraft before takeoff at Miami International Airport after officials said he failed to respond to requests to buckle his seatbelt and appeared to be unconscious, police and airline officials said Sunday. “Fearing that Mr. Beckham was seriously ill, and that […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Chickens walk in a fenced pasture at an organic farm in Iowa on Oct. 21, 2015. Nebraska agri...
Associated Press

Bird flu prompts slaughter of 1.8M chickens in Nebraska

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska agriculture officials say another 1.8 million chickens must be killed after bird flu was found on a farm in the latest sign that the outbreak that has already prompted the slaughter of more than 50 million birds nationwide continues to spread. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture said Saturday that the […]
18 hours ago
This photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James in Centur...
Associated Press

Colorado shooting victim ‘wanted to save the family I found’

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A member of the U.S. Navy who was injured while helping prevent further harm during a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado last weekend said Sunday that he “simply wanted to save the family that I found.” Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James made his first public comments on […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Director Quentin Tarantino, left, poses with Friars Club Dean Freddie Roman at the Quentin T...
Associated Press

Borscht Belt comedian Freddie Roman dies at age 85

Comedian Freddie Roman, the former dean of The Friars Club and a staple of the Catskills comedy scene, has died. He was 85. Roman died Saturday afternoon at Bethesda Hospital in Boynton Beach, Florida, his booking agent and friend Alison Chaplin said Sunday. His daughter told the entertainment trade Deadline that he suffered a heart […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Workers leave iPhone factory in Zhengzhou amid COVID curbs