Big setback for Apple! Chinese zone with large iPhone factory hits new lockdown

A Chinese industrial park with a Foxconn iPhone factory has announced another COVID-19 lockdown.

A Chinese industrial park that houses a Foxconn iPhone factory announced a new COVID-19 lockdown on Wednesday, raising questions about its impact on the Apple supplier’s efforts to quell dissatisfaction at the factory.

The Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone in central China said it would impose “quiet management” measures with immediate effect, including banning all residents from going outside and allowing only approved vehicles on the road. The curbs will remain in place until Nov. 9, it says.

Foxconn, formerly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, is Apple’s largest iPhone maker, producing 70% of iPhone shipments worldwide. It makes most of the phones at its factory in Zhengzhou, which employs about 200,000 people, although it has other smaller manufacturing sites in India and southern China.

The industrial estate announcement did not specify how the measures might be applied to Foxconn. Foxconn and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Foxconn has been working to retain staff and ease tensions at the plant after workers complained about their treatment and facilities under COVID-19 prevention measures. Several employees also fled the factory, prompting Foxconn to offer generous bonuses to retain staff.

Earlier this year, the park was also locked for 14 days at the end of April. Foxconn said at the time that production at the factory was normal.

Wednesday’s lockdown marks another tightening of measures in Zhengzhou, which unexpectedly lifted a quasi-lockdown for its nearly 13 million people the day before. The city reported 358 locally transmitted cases for Tuesday, up from 95 the day before.

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