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Riots break out at world’s biggest iPhone factory in China over Covid and pay

Protests have broken out at the world’s biggest iPhone factory in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou.

According to reports from Bloomberg, workers at the Foxconn Technology plant started to protest overnight over unpaid wages and fears of Covid rates.

Footage has circulated online, showing hundreds of workers marching, with riot police present.

Tensions have been growing in the region after lockdown started in October amid growing infection rates.

Around 200,000 people work at the plant, and there were reports last month that many had tried to flee the region.

The Zhengzhou plant – one of the world’s biggest – announced a fresh recruitment drive earlier this month, in a bid to lure back staff who had left in recent weeks under reportedly poor working conditions with a one-off bonus of 500 yuan ($69.28) should they return.

The Zhengzhou region produces around four in five of its latest-generation handsets for Apple.

In a statement earlier this month, Apple said that while it expects demand to be strong for its iPhone 14 – despite a global economic downturn weighing on consumer habits – shipments will be lower than previously anticipated.

Foxconn has also downgraded its outlook for this quarter over the lockdown.

“Foxconn is now working with the government in a concerted effort to stamp out the pandemic and resume production to its full capacity as quickly as possible,” the company said on Monday.

Foxconn and Apple were not immediately available to comment.

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