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MacBook factory workers 'beginning to revolt' over lockdowns in China

Quanta
Quanta (Image credit: @RFA_Chinese)

What you need to know

  • A new report says a MacBook factory in Shanghai is facing continued turmoil and that some workers are starting to revolt against their overseers.
  • A video earlier this month showed workers scrambling to leave the factory and a riot.
  • Bloomberg reports that there have been more revolts and that factory floors are vacant.

A new report says that a MacBook factory in Shanghai continues to face turmoil and that some of its workers have revolted against their overseers.

Bloomberg reported Friday:

Violent clashes, mounting infections and vacant factory floors: the turmoil that's engulfed tens of thousands of workers at an Apple Inc. supplier in Shanghai is a troubling symptom of China's extreme efforts to keep factories humming during its worst Covid outbreak since 2020.

The report says that workers who have been "trapped in a bubble for almost two months" are "demanding more freedom and beginning to revolt against their overseers."

The report cites shocking video footage that emerged earlier this month and claims another incident took place in the last week:

Hundreds of workers have clashed with guards. A large contingent, worried that their supplies would run out should the lockdown persist, flooded past guarded isolation barriers earlier this month in search of daily necessities, according to several employees. Over the past weekend, media reports went viral of a large group storming a dormitory housing Quanta's Taiwanese managers after a dispute over the prolonged lockdown and pay -- triggering an hours-long standoff confirmed by several workers within the compound.

One worker said people were getting "frustrated and tired" of these controls, referring to lockdown measures in the region stemming from China's strict zero-COVID policy. Most factories in the region are operating "closed-loop" policies, with workers only allowed to travel between factories and accommodation, or worse being housed in the factories themselves.

Unfortunately, it seems that a COVID outbreak began right before April lockdown measures, with the factory's close conditions actually aiding the spread of the virus and starting a local outbreak.

Apple is facing long delays across many models on its Mac lineup including the MacBook Pro (2021), of which Quanta is a key supplier. You can read the full report here.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

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.