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Foxconn: iPhone maker apologises following massive protests at China plant

 

A day after its iPhone manufacturing in China was rocked by violent protesters, Apple supplier Foxconn apologised for a "technical issue" in its payment processes.

Hundreds of workers were seen rallying at the world's largest iPhone manufacturing in Zhengzhou, with protests over Covid restrictions and reports of unpaid wages.

Workers were pummelling by police, according to those who were livestreaming the protests.

According to one Foxconn employee, the matter has subsequently been fixed.

The plant was closed down last month because to increased Covid cases, leading some workers to break out and go home. The corporation then hired additional employees with the promise of large incentives.

However, one worker claimed that these contracts were modified so that they "could not receive the subsidies promised," and that they were confined without food.

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Foxconn issued a statement on Thursday stating that a "technical mistake happened during the onboarding process," and that the salary of new hires was "the same as agreed [in the] official recruiting posters."

The company stated that it was in continual touch with the impacted employees regarding the salary and incentives, and that it was doing everything it could "to actively answer the concerns and legitimate requests of employees."

On Thursday, a worker told the BBC that he had earned 8,000 yuan ($1,120; £926) and was expecting another 2,000 yuan. He went on to say that there were no more protestors and that he and his coworkers will return to the Foxconn plant.

The Zhengzhou facility employs over 200,000 people and manufactures Apple products such as the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

Separately, officials ordered the city to go into lockdown on Thursday, stating that residents would not be allowed to leave until they received a negative Covid test, affecting almost six million people.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged China to rethink its zero-covid plan as the country's economic development slows.

The world's second biggest economy saw its GDP shrink by 2.6% in the three months to the end of June compared to the previous quarter.

"Although the zero-Covid strategy has become more agile over time," the IMF said, "the combination of more contagious Covid variants and persistent gaps in vaccinations have resulted in the need for more frequent lockdowns, weighing on consumption and private investment, including in housing."

The World Bank also urged Beijing to vaccinate more people and provide further assistance to its crisis-hit real estate industry.

However, other observers feel that the IMF's recommendations would not persuade China to modify its policy.

"Given that China is unlikely to seek assistance from the IMF, it doesn't really matter whether they pay attention to this comment or not," The Economist Intelligence Unit's global head economist, Simon Baptist, told the BBC.

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