Daily Management Review

iPhone Maker Foxconn Apologizes Following Massive Protests At Its Factory in China


iPhone Maker Foxconn Apologizes Following Massive Protests At Its Factory in China
A day after its iPhone factory in China was rocked by angry protests, Apple supplier Foxconn apologized for a "technical error" in its payment systems. Hundreds of workers were seen marching at the world's largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, with complaints about Covid restrictions and claims of unpaid wages.
Workers were beaten by police, according to those who were livestreaming the protests.
According to one Foxconn employee, the situation has since been resolved.
The factory was locked down last month due to rising Covid cases, prompting some workers to break out and go home. The company then hired new employees with the promise of large bonuses.
However, one worker claimed that these contracts were changed so that they "could not receive the subsidy promised," and that they were quarantined without food.
Foxconn issued a statement on Thursday stating that a "technical error occurred during the onboarding process," and that the pay of new recruits was "the same as agreed [in the] official recruitment posters."
The company stated that it was in constant communication with the affected employees about the pay and bonuses, and that it was doing everything it could "to actively solve the concerns and reasonable demands of employees."
On Thursday, a worker told the BBC that he had received 8,000 yuan ($1,120) and was expecting another 2,000 yuan.
He went on to say that there were no more protesters and that he and his coworkers would return to the Foxconn plant.
The Zhengzhou plant employs over 200,000 people and manufactures Apple products such as the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Separately, authorities ordered the city to go into lockdown on Thursday, stating that people would not be allowed to leave unless they had a negative Covid test, affecting over six million people.
It came as China experienced its highest number of daily Covid cases since the pandemic began, with the country experiencing a wave of outbreaks in major cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged China to rethink its zero-covid strategy as the country's economic growth slows.
The world's second largest economy saw its GDP fall by 2.6% in the three months to the end of June compared to the previous quarter.
"Although the zero-Covid strategy has become nimbler over time, the combination of more contagious Covid variants and persistent gaps in vaccinations have led to the need for more frequent lockdowns, weighing on consumption and private investment, including in housing," the IMF said.
The World Bank also urged Beijing to vaccinate more people and provide additional assistance to its crisis-hit real estate sector.
However, some analysts believe that the IMF's recommendations will not persuade China to change its policies.
"Given that China is unlikely to be going to the IMF for help, it doesn't really matter whether they pay attention to this statement or not," Simon Baptist, global chief economist of The Economist Intelligence Unit, told the BBC.