Headline RoundupNovember 23rd, 2022

Violent Protests Break Out at Major Chinese iPhone Factory

AllSides Summary

Hundreds of workers protesting payment delays and COVID-19 concerns clashed with Chinese police at Foxconn Zhengzhou, the world’s largest iPhone factory. 

For Context: Foxconn, a Taiwanese company, has struggled to fulfill orders for Apple’s new iPhone 14. In late October, thousands of assembly line workers walked out of the Zhengzhou factory over COVID-19 outbreaks and workplace safety concerns. Foxconn attempted to attract workers with large bonuses, but workers later discovered that the bonuses would only be available after two additional months of work at lower pay. “Workers from all parts of the country came,” a worker quoted by the Associated Press (Lean Left bias) said, “only to find they were being made fools of.” In a livestream of the protests, another worker said, “They quarantine us but don't provide food.” 

COVID-19 in Focus: Just as China was easing some of its strict “Zero COVID” lockdown policies, the country saw a renewed spike in cases, matching health officials’ predictions of a global winter surge. While China has kept factories open this time around, its new strategy includes “closed-loop management,” in which workers live at their employers’ factories and have limited outside contact. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was most prominent in business and global outlets, which tend to be rated Center or Lean Left. Coverage from the right was sparse; AllSides could only find original coverage from The Post Millennial (Lean Right bias), a Canadian outlet. 

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