Chinese Workers Riot Through the Night at iPhone Factory

Chase Baker
Chase Baker
Chase is a seasoned journalist and former resident of Iraqi Kurdistan. With a background in English and Philosophy from the College of Charleston, Chase covered the 2022 conflict in eastern Ukraine, including cities like Kharkiv, Bakhmut, and Kramatorsk. He has also produced short documentaries in Ukraine and the U.S., and has been with Atlas for three years.

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China’s strict zero-COVID strategy and talk of delaying payments have pushed workers to the breaking point at the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou. The workers at the factory—which happens to be China’s largest iPhone producer—are in a “closed loop” system. This means that they both live and work on the factory’s campus.

The factory began closed-loop operations last month in an attempt to contain a COVID outbreak. This triggered a mass exodus of workers who were already irritated by hardcore quarantine rules, food shortages, and poor working conditions.

Needless to say, these aren’t happy workers. Reportedly, tensions boiled over yesterday when the workers began to suspect the factory was going to delay bonus pay.

Protests began and continued into a night that was marked by numerous clashes, lots of property destruction, and most dangerously, open defiance toward Chinese authority. Videos, pictures, and live streams of the protest began to be shared online. This was mostly censored by Chinese social media platforms. But not before the posts made their way to foreign platforms.

For those interested, some of these videos are compiled below.