It is reported that 20,000 workers have left the Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China, the world’s largest iPhone production base. Apple’s iPhone production is on alert as a large number of employees quit ahead of Christmas.
On the 25th, major foreign media reported that 20,000 newly hired workers at the Foxconn iPhone manufacturing plant in Zhengzhou, China, left the factory. Foxconn tried to fully restart its production facilities by the end of this month, but about a tenth of all employees left the factory, which eventually disrupted operations.
Foxconn is an electronic manufacturer that assembles Apple’s iPhones and iPads and is responsible for 70 percent of global iPhone production. Of these, 60% of the products will be produced intensively at Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou, China, and shipped to the United States and Europe. In particular, more than 80% of the popular iPhone 14 series and 85% of professional models are produced here.
However, Apple’s iPhone production plunged as Zhengzhou City, China blocked the Foxconn plant, which has 200,000 workers, since mid-October to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Apple’s fourth-quarter shipment, which was originally expected to be around 80 million units, is expected to decrease by 2 to 3 million units.
In response, Foxconn started hiring large-scale new workers as a condition for incentives, but complaints from employees increased. Factory workers staged a protest on the 23rd, saying they delayed the date of bonus payment promised by the management and made unfair treatment by keeping the confirmed patients and employees in the same accommodation. Major foreign media reported that Foxconn issued a statement the previous day blaming computer errors for the reason for unpaid wages, triggering a scuffle between workers with security guards.
Apple’s sales are expected to be hit hard as production of products is disrupted ahead of Christmas, when demand for iPhones is increasing. Of the 235.7 million iPhone shipments last year, 84.9 million units, or 36 percent, were produced in the fourth quarter.
“The shutdown is expected to cost Apple $1 billion a week,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, predicting that iPhone production will fall by up to 30% this month after workers’ protests.