iPhone maker Foxconn responds to rumors of worker deaths at facility

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Foxconn has denied claims on social media that some of its employees died of COVID in their dormitory. Unverified videos circulating online claimed eight workers died in a dormitory. Foxconn called the footage “maliciously edited” and said no workers died at its facilities. Something is loading.

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Apple’s biggest iPhone maker, Foxconn, has denied claims in videos circulating on social media that some of its employees died of COVID-19 at its factory in Zhengzhou, China.

“Following a detailed investigation of online video footage alleging ‘deaths in room 726’, Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) solemnly clarifies that there are no deaths at our facility,” a the company said in a statement to Insider.

Foxconn added in its statement that it believes the images were “maliciously altered”.

The videos, seen by Insider, claim to show workers shouting and protesting the lockdown in their dorms, with captions alleging eight employees died in their shared dorm. Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou employs around 200,000 workers – many of whom come from villages and rural towns – and operates dormitories to house them.

Some of the clips appear to show staff in white protective gear standing in a courtyard surrounded by residential blocks, while moans and screams can be heard.

A compilation of the clips was tweeted by a Chinese dissident, first reported. The video has racked up over 500,000 views.

Insider could not independently verify the veracity of the videos.

Huge outcry over Foxconn workers trying to evade prison-like COVID lockdowns

Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory has recently drawn attention on Chinese social media, after videos emerged of its workers climbing fences and returning to their hometown to escape prison-like COVID-19 measures at the factory. Insider could not independently verify the authenticity of the videos.

After the videos went viral, Foxconn said on Sunday it would arrange vehicle transportation for workers who wanted to get home.

Foxconn employees take shuttles home on October 30, 2022 in Zhengzhou, China’s Henan province. CGV / Contributor

The facility adopted a temporary “closed-loop system” in mid-October, after a small coronavirus outbreak at the plant. Under the system, workers must be transported directly from their sleeping quarters to the factory and back. The system allows the plant to operate while trying to eliminate all traces of the virus, in accordance with Beijing’s strict zero COVID mandate.

However, it also greatly restricts the movement of workers, who are not allowed to leave the premises. Dissatisfaction also grew over the risk of food shortages, with only production line workers receiving boxed lunches while other workers received staples like bread or instant noodles, reported.

The outbreak and subsequent developments with Foxconn workers could cause problems for the global supply of iPhones ahead of the holiday season.

The Taiwan-based electronics maker produces about 70% of Apple’s global iPhone shipments, according to . iPhone production could drop by up to 30% due to recent COVID-19 measures, the outlet reported.

and reported separately this week that Foxconn was raising wages for workers at the Zhengzhou plant in a bid to bolster its workforce amid layoffs.

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