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China: chaotic conditions during corona lockdown in MacBook factory

China: chaotic conditions during corona lockdown in MacBook factory
Written by insideindyhomes

The ongoing lockdown in several Chinese cities is causing criticism from the local population – and increasingly also direct protests. A location of an important Apple manufacturer was also affected. This is reported by the media from Taiwan.

According to this, at the end of last week there were clashes with security staff and probably also the police in a factory in Shanghai, the region currently most affected by the Omicron variant. The facility, which is operated by Taiwan’s Quanta Computer to manufacture MacBook computers, actually works on what is known as a closed-loop system. Employees are isolated from the outside world – they are only allowed to move back and forth between the workplace and dormitories that are on the premises.

But apparently that’s exactly what many workers no longer wanted. As the Economic Daily News, which appears in Taipei, writes, “hundreds of employees” are said to have tried, in some cases by force, to cross the barriers around the factory erected by the company and the authorities in order to get back into the outside world. The lockdown had previously been relaxed in some areas of the city, although it is now apparently planned to tighten it again.

Quanta Computer plays a central role for Apple: the company has the exclusive manufacturing rights for portable Macs. The current MacBook Pro models, which were released in autumn, were only available with a delay for a long time, but production is now running better again – if there are no riots like the one in Shanghai now. There is general dissatisfaction with the strict epidemic control measures, they write Economic Daily News continue. Quanta is expected to employ at least 40,000 workers. A dispute apparently broke out after security guards barred employees from returning to their dormitories after their shift. The barriers set up were overrun. The protests apparently took place entirely on company premises.

Despite the milder Omicron variant, China continues to rely on hard lockdowns. Millions of people in several major cities – most in Shanghai – have been stuck in their homes for weeks. If an infection is detected, people often have to go to cramped quarantine centers that have poor hygienic conditions. There are food supply problems. The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party believes that the only way to get the virus under control is with a “zero COVID” policy. Another problem is the fact that mRNA vaccines are still not approved in China – the locally produced vaccines, however, have a weaker effect against omicrons. In addition, there is a low vaccination rate, especially among older people. Nevertheless, only comparatively few symptomatic cases of corona are reported – but they are enough to continue the strict lockdown. It is apparently also being considered for the capital Beijing.

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