Foxconn to ease COVID-19 curbs in Chinese iPhone factory

HONG KONG — The company that assembles Apple Inc.’s iPhones has announced it is easing COVID-19 restrictions at its largest factory in China that led thousands of workers to quit and drastically slowed production.

Foxconn Technology Group said in a statement on one of its official WeChat social media accounts that it would end the so-called “closed loop” system at the facility in Zhengzhou, central China, that required workers to stay in their workplaces and dormitories to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections.

The move announced Wednesday came about a week after China began easing harsh COVID-19 curbs despite signs the number of infections is rising.

Following a spate of protests across the country last month many “zero-COVID” restrictions were lifted. That means people no longer need to take frequent COVID-19 tests to travel on public transport. If they do test positive for the virus, they can isolate at home if they have only mild or no symptoms instead of being sent to a quarantine center.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government is still officially committed to stopping virus transmission. But the government’s latest moves suggest authorities will tolerate more infections without quarantines or shutting down travel or businesses.

Thousands of workers at the huge factory in Zhengzhou walked out in late October over complaints of unsafe working conditions — such as food shortages due to closed cafeterias — and a virus outbreak at the plant.

The last quarter of the year is typically a busy season for companies like Foxconn as they ramp up production ahead of the end of year holiday rush. Apple has warned that iPhone 14 deliveries would be delayed due to manufacturing disruptions.

Foxconn, headquartered in New Taipei City, Taiwan, has been trying to rebuild its workforce after the massive walkout in late October. The company then ended up apologizing after a pay dispute triggered protests by workers who said Foxconn had changed the terms of wages offered to attract them to the factory.

In its announcement, the company said it would no longer provide free meals to workers because factory cafeterias would reopen. Instead, meal expenses will be deducted from employees’ wages as usual, though workers who must quarantine after testing positive for the virus will still get free meals.

Source ABC

A tech blog author and superhero who writes about technology and its impact on society, business, and everyday life

Related Posts

Elie Saab’s spring couture in Paris dreams of Thai escape

PARIS — Elie Saab whisked his guests away to Thailand for a Paris Fashion Week couture show Wednesday that gleamed with gold and intricate silk embroidery. Sheer diaphanous cloth floated…

Read more

Lloyd Morrisett, who helped launch ‘Sesame Street,’ dies

NEW YORK — Lloyd Morrisett, the co-creator of the beloved children’s education TV series “Sesame Street,” which uses empathy and fuzzy monsters like Abby Cadabby, Elmo and Cookie Monster to…

Read more

Why do so many older adults choose Medicare Advantage?

In 2022, 48% of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans instead of original Medicare, and experts predict that number will be higher in 2023. Medicare Advantage plans are…

Read more

North Carolina doctor sues over abortion pill access, in test case of federal power

In a lawsuit that could impact abortion access nationwide, a North Carolina doctor on Wednesday asked a federal district court to strike down the state’s restrictions on the abortion drug…

Read more

Edmunds: The pros and cons of software running your car

Software was a big theme for automakers attending CES 2023 in January. BMW, Stellantis, Volkswagen and a joint venture between Honda and Sony showed off upcoming or concept vehicles that…

Read more

Jill Biden’s inaugural wear to go on display at Smithsonian

WASHINGTON — First ladies typically donate their inaugural ball gowns to the Smithsonian Institution for its collection. Jill Biden is giving up two clothing ensembles, and neither one includes a…

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *