iPhone factory riots blamed on a Foxconn payment blunder

Riots at Foxconn
(Image credit: @NewsBoxun)

Recent unrest at the world's largest iPhone factory is being blamed on Foxconn's failure to pay bonuses to new hires.

The Foxconn plant, located in Zhengzhou and the world's largest iPhone factory, saw employees riot this week. They smashed security cameras and clashed with security personnel at the site, with a new report saying that the unrest was caused by a missed bonus payment.

Time to pay up

Reuters reports that workers had been told that Foxconn was delaying bonus payments, with ongoing COVID-19 restrictions also thought to have played a part in the unrest. However, Foxconn says that it has discovered a technical error occurred during the onboarding process" of new hires which caused the payment to be missed. The company also says that it apologizes "for an input error in the computer system and [can] guarantee that the actual pay is the same as agreed and the official recruitment posters."

Foxconn had offered hefty bonuses as a way to get new workers to stay at its crisis-hit factory, with new hires also receiving additional pay.

China's zero-COVID stance continues to cause unrest around the country, but Foxconn's 300,000-strong Zhengzhou plant is particularly badly affected, with strict lockdown protocols in place in the surrounding area. Reports of employees fleeing to avoid those conditions aren't helping at a time when Apple is known to be working to move manufacturing out of China wherever possible.

The Foxconn factory is vital to Apple because it is the only one on the planet that assembles iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max devices. Ongoing restrictions at the plant have already caused Apple to warn that the availability of its best iPhones will be limited as a result.

Anyone trying to buy an iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max now, with delivery in time for Christmas, is likely to be out of luck. Stocks were already hard to come by, but the ongoing issues in Zhengzhou are only serving to exacerbate the situation for both Apple and its customers.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.