China’s ‘iPhone city’ under Covid lockdown after violent protests

AP

Six million people were on Friday under Covid lockdown in a Chinese city home to the world's largest iPhone factory, after clashes between police and workers furious over pay.

Authorities have ordered residents of eight districts in Zhengzhou, in the central province of Henan, not to leave the area for the next five days, building barriers around "high-risk" apartment buildings and setting up checkpoints to restrict travel.

There have been only a handful of coronavirus cases in the city.

The orders follow protests by hundreds of employees over conditions and pay at Foxconn's vast iPhone factory on the outskirts of the city, with fresh images of rallies emerging Friday.

Video footage published on social media and geolocated by AFP showed a large group of people walking down a street in the east of the city, some holding signs.

"So many people," a man can be heard saying. AFP was unable to verify precisely when the protests took place.

And after scores of workers left the plant Thursday with payouts of 10,000 yuan ($1,400) from Foxconn, posts on Chinese short-video apps Douyin and Kuaishou said the Taiwanese tech giant was turning away many of the thousands of people that had answered its hiring ads after a raft of departures in October.

Many of those who have arrived to take up newly vacant posts at the factory are now stuck in quarantine hotels outside the plant, multiple workers told AFP.

"We are in a quarantine hotel, and have no way of going to the Foxconn campus," one worker who asked to remain anonymous said.

(AFP)


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