iPhone maker Foxconn has hit back at 'maliciously edited' videos of worker deaths at its facility following a COVID outbreak, after clarifying there have been no casualties




  • In Health
  • 2022-11-02 06:14:38Z
  • By Business Insider
Staff members work at a service point to provide water and food for Foxconn employees before their departure on October 30, 2022 in Zhengzhou, Henan Province of China.
Staff members work at a service point to provide water and food for Foxconn employees before their departure on October 30, 2022 in Zhengzhou, Henan Province of China.  
  • Foxconn denied claims on social media that some of its workers died from COVID in their dormitory.

  • Unverified videos circulating online claimed that eight workers died in one dormitory room.

  • Foxconn called the footage "maliciously edited," and said no workers had died at its facility.

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

"Following a detailed investigation into the online video footage alleging 'deaths at room 726,' Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) solemnly clarifies there are no deaths at our facility," the company said in a statement to Insider.

Foxconn added in its statement that it believed the footage was "maliciously edited."

The videos, seen by Insider, claim to show workers shouting and protesting confinement in their dormitories, with captions alleging that eight employees died in their shared dormitory room. Foxconn's Zhengzhou facility employs around 200,000 workers - many of whom are from rural villages and towns - and operates dormitories to house them.

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

A compilation of the clips was tweeted by a Chinese dissident, Bloomberg first reported. The video has accrued more than 500,000 views.

Insider was unable to independently verify the veracity of the videos.

Huge outcry over Foxconn workers trying to escape prison-like COVID confinement measures

Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory recently drew widespread attention on Chinese social media, after videos emerged of its workers climbing fences and walking back to their hometowns to escape prison-like COVID-19 measures at the plant. Insider could not independently verify the authenticity of the videos.

After the videos went viral, Foxconn announced on Sunday that it would arrange vehicle transport for workers who wanted to return home.

Worker
Worker's fleeing Foxconn  

The facility adopted a temporary "closed loop system" in mid-October, after a small coronavirus outbreak at the plant.  According to the system, workers have to be transported directly from their dormitories to the factory and back. The system allows the factory to run while attempting to stamp out any trace of the virus, in accordance with Beijing's strict zero-COVID mandate.

However, it's also greatly restricted the movement of the workers, who aren't allowed to leave the premises. Discontent also grew over the risk of food shortages, with only production line employees being given meal boxes while other workers received basic fare like bread or instant noodles, Bloomberg reported.

The outbreak and subsequent developments with Foxconn's workers could spell trouble for the global supply of iPhones ahead of the holiday season.

The Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer produces an estimated 70% of Apple's global iPhone shipments, according to Reuters. Production of the iPhone could fall by as much as 30% due to the recent COVID-19 measures, the outlet reported.

Reuters and Bloomberg reported separately this week that Foxconn is raising workers' wages at the Zhengzhou plant in an attempt to shore up its workforce amid the departures.

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