iPhone 14 factory seeks retired Chinese military veterans to help restore ailing production

Apple iPhone 14 in store
(Image credit: Apple)

A new report says that Changge county has called upon retired People's Liberation Army (PLA) personnel in China to come and work at the world's largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou in order to help get production back up and running. 

SCMP reports that the government has written an open letter to retired PLA personnel "urging" them to "answer the government’s call” and “take part in the resumption of production” at Foxconn's "iPhone City" plant in Zhengzhou. 

The report says the call is part of a wider campaign in the province "to help recruit fresh assembly line workers for Foxconn’s Zhengzhou compound" where "tens of thousands of panicked workers have fled" in recent weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak and strict lockdown measures. 

Taken down

According to SCMP, the open letter has since been removed from the social media platform WeChat without explanation. The report cites experts who say the measures "reflect concerns that further disruptions in production could accelerate Apple’s pace of diversifying production outside China." Earlier today it emerged Apple's suppliers are planning another large factory in India. 

Foxconn employs 300,000 workers at its enormous plant, where all of Apple's best iPhones including the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are assembled. Apple recently warned that its main Zhengzhou factory was working at a "significantly reduced capacity. 

"COVID-19 restrictions have temporarily impacted the primary iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max assembly facility located in Zhengzhou, China," the company stated, warning that it expects to see "lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated and customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products."

The stark outlook make the latest Black Friday iPhone deals even more appealing, with stock likely to dwindle as we get closer to the holiday season and November's main sales events. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9