WangfujingSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple has resumed employee business trips to China.
  • A new report says staff are paid a $500 daily bonus for taking the voluntary trips.
  • But staff have to endure budget hotels and doing their own laundry.

A new report from The Information says Apple has resumed business trips to China, spurred by a $500 a day bonus incentive.

The report states:

In recent months, Apple has resumed flying U.S. employees to China to work with the manufacturers that make most of its iPhones, Macs, and iPads, according to seven current and former Apple employees and people working for its partners. These voluntary visits, which now typically last at least six weeks and include a two-week stay in a quarantine hotel negotiated by Apple and the local Shanghai government, come with an incentive: up to $500 a day in addition to the normal daily expense for business travel, according to two of these people.

According to the report, staff have to comply with local quarantine restrictions on arrival, dragging out the trips. The report says that staff have to stay in budget hotels, eating meals like Irish lamb stew and stir-fried noodles provided by China Eastern Airlines. The report even claims employees have to wash their clothes in the bath.

As such, the report says the visits are voluntary, but that having U.S. staff visit factories is more effective when it comes to verifying production processes and reaching out to manufacturing partners. Employees must stay for a minimum of six weeks, according to the report, which would net them a bonus of at least $21,000. Apple stopped flying its engineers to China in March at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.