Fears of Christmas iPhone shortage as China's brutal Covid lockdown leaves world's biggest factory on brink of collapse | The Sun
1st November 2022

CHINA’S brutal Covid lockdown could lead to a Christmas iPhone shortage as the factory where they’re made faces collapse.

The world's biggest iPhone factory in the city of Zhengzhou employs 200,000 people, with many living in dormitories on the vast site.

Along with many other places in China, the city has been placed into strict lockdown under President Xi Jinping’s ‘Zero Covid’ policy.

But amid fights over food and squalid conditions, thousands have escaped the lockdown to return home.

That’s left factory owner Foxconn already having to cut production by a third in the run up to Christmas, Reuters reports.

Last year about a third of £165billion in iPhone sales happened between the final quarter of the year, according to Apple.


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Apple has already warned of shortages this Christmas, with supply chain issues earlier in the year and the rapid sales of the iPhone 14 seemingly to blame.

Foxconn is desperately trying to shift production to other plants, including one in Shenzhen, in south China.

The Taiwanese firm has also quadrupled bonuses for workers in a desperate bid to get them to stay and calm the situation at the factory.

Under China's ultra-strict Covid lockdowns, local areas must act swiftly to quell outbreaks.

Factories in affected areas are often allowed to stay open on condition they operate under a "closed loop" system where staff live and work on-site.

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Foxconn banned dining at canteens at the Zhengzhou plant with workers forced to eat meals in dormitories.

As a result, scuffles then erupted between employees over food, with only workers on the production lines given meal boxes, insiders revealed.

Footage shared on Twitter later appeared to show fed-up workers standing at windows shouting while people in hazmat suits can be seen on the ground below.

Another clip showed people frantically grabbing boxes and rushing to get away with them amid unverified claims no food was allowed to enter the site for three days.

Other footage showed at least ten workers jumping over the fence outside.

One 22-year-old worker who jumped over the fence described how the situation in the factory’s dormitories had descended into "chaos”.

Beijing is taking a no-tolerance approach to the virus – enforcing the new rules after just 20 to 25 new infections a day this week.

Xi Jinping – who was recently made "Emperor for Life" – is continuing to roll out what has been dubbed as the "world's strictest lockdown".

Cops wearing hazmat suits and wielding machine guns have been brutally enforcing the rules.

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Quarantine camps, food shortages. cops seizing people's homes, tags on Covid patients, and drones policing the streets have all been seen across China.

Foxconn has been approached for comment.

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