China implemented a new lockdown in the city of Zhengzhou, also known as iPhone city, as COVID cases jumped to a record high, according to Business Insider.

Zhengzhou is popularly known as home to the world’s largest Apple iPhone factory. According to local authorities, the city will be largely locked down from Friday until next Tuesday.

china, zhengzhou, iphone city, foxconn
(Photo : SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)

Lockdown Will Affect Area Where iPhone Factory is Located

According to Axios, around 6.6 million people in Zhengzhou are affected by five-day stay-at-home orders.

One of the areas that will be affected is the place where Apple’s main iPhone factory is located.

The restrictions in the city come amid a surge of COVID-19 infections in the country. According to the officials in Zhengzhou, the situation in the city is “still severe and complicated.”

According to Business Insider, COVID-19 infections are mainly concentrated in urban areas.

Currently, there is a severe outbreak of the highly transmissible Omicron variant in China. This challenges the country’s Covid-zero stance.

Last Wednesday, the country reported a record high of 31,444 local infections. This includes asymptomatic cases, according to China’s National Health Commission.

The increase in COVID-19 cases in the country is already casting doubts on whether the world’s second-largest economy will be able to completely get through the pandemic.

Nearly three years into the pandemic, the country is the last major economy to have kept the strategy of trying to keep out the virus by imposing lockdowns and quarantines.

The Chinese stock markets rallied earlier this month on speculation that it was getting ready to loosen its Covid-zero stance.

However, that optimism seems to be misguided because the intensive care unit (ICU) beds in the country are not enough for a widespread outbreak.

Reports from some news outlets say that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on China to make adjustments to its COVID-19 strategy in order to support the economy.

Protest Breaks at iPhone Factory in Zhengzhou

Meanwhile, as COVID cases increase in China and as the country implements a new lockdown, hundreds of Foxconn workers march in protest in the major iPhone factory in the city of Zhengzhou.

According to iTechPost, footage of the protest involving hundreds of workers circulated online via social media such as Weibo and Twitter.

The protest started at the iPhone factory because employees are upset over COVID restrictions and bonuses. The workers are complaining that the firm did not pay the bonuses promised to them.

Videos showing the workers complaining about the food they had been provided also circulated online.

Some protesters are even confronted by a row of police officers and people in hazmat suits. Moreover, there are also several instances of violence reported.

According to those live streaming the protest, there are workers who were beaten by police officers.

Meanwhile, according to Foxconn, they will be working with the staff and local government in order to prevent further violence in the iPhone factory.

Problems at the factory started earlier as many workers fled the plant because frustration mounted over the treatment of employees.

Workers are complaining about how the firm handles COVID cases. Likewise, they are complaining about the insufficient provisions for food.

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