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Area around world’s biggest iPhone plant locked down

Area around world's biggest iPhone plant locked down

By Annabelle Liang
Business reporter
Chinese authorities have locked down a district in Zhengzhou city – which is home to the world’s largest iPhone factory – under the country’s strict coronavirus measures.

The lockdown started on Wednesday and is set to last for seven days.

The move may have an impact on production of the new iPhone 14, which is made at Foxconn’s plant in the city.

Chinese people and businesses are continuing to grapple with President Xi Jinping’s rigid zero-Covid policy.

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On Wednesday, local authorities said the lockdown of the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone would start immediately and end at midday local time on 9 November.

Public transport services have been suspended and people advised to work from home, according to an official notice on the WeChat social media platform.

Officials said they would “resolutely crack down on all kinds of violations of regulations”.

Zhengzhou is the capital of Henan province in central China and is home to about 10 million people.

It reported 167 locally transmitted infections in the seven days to last Saturday – up from 97 in the previous week.

The lockdown comes at a key time for Apple, shortly after the launch of the iPhone 14 and ahead of the crucial Christmas and Lunar New Year shopping seasons.

Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant, which employs around 200,000 workers, produces the majority of Apple’s new phones.

On Tuesday, Foxconn said it had quadrupled its daily bonuses at the manufacturing hub after a breakout by workers during a Covid lockdown.

The firm said bonuses for assembly line workers will be raised to 400 yuan ($55.02; £47.76) a day.

Foxconn also said that people who worked for more than 25 days a month at the factory would be awarded a maximum bonus of 5,000 yuan, up from 1,500 yuan.

It added that those who put in their “full effort” in November – without taking any leave – could be paid a total bonus of more than 15,000 yuan for the month.

The company said the bonuses were part of an effort to “gradually resume orderly production” and “thank our fellow employees’ persistence”.

It has not yet provided an official count of how many people had been infected by the coronavirus at the plant.

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