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Report: 'iPhone City' manufacturing hub using Covid controls to keep hoodwinked investors out

Iphone Factory China
Iphone Factory China (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • A bizarre new report claims that a manufacturing hub in China's 'iPhone City' is abusing Covid controls to keep out protestors against a financial scam.
  • Investors who say they have been swindled out of billions of dollars claim they are being deliberately prevented from returning to Zhengzhou to protest.
  • It follows a revelation in May about what could be one of the nation's largest financial scams.

A bizarre story unfolding in China claims that a manufacturing hub in China's 'iPhone City' of Zhengzhou is allegedly abusing Covid controls to keep investors from returning to the city to protest a huge financial scam.

From Bloomberg:

A manufacturing hub in central China is allegedly abusing its Covid control measures to prevent investors who say they have been swindled out of billions of dollars in a suspected financial scam from returning to the city to protest.

The report says that several people who tried to return to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, found their health codes were rejected at the city's main train station when they tried to enter the city. The people, who claim to have left their hometowns with green codes and so should have been allowed access, are among those who have supposedly been duped out of billions of dollars in a financial scam and have been denied access to the money that was invested via online platforms.

As the report notes, Zhengzhou is colloquially known as 'iPhone City' because it is the largest manufacturing hub for Apple's best iPhones, including the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. It is not specified in this report whether the hub in question is owned or used by any Apple suppliers, or if there has been any disruption to manufacturing in the area.

With regards to the scam, it was reported in May that a private investment firm with a stake in four Henan banks had drawn illicit investments from the public through online platforms, colluding with the bank's employees. The four banks then froze all of their online and mobile cash withdrawal services in April, prompting protests in the province.

Apple has endured plenty of supply chain woes and disruption as a result of China's heavy-handed zero-Covid policies, which have seen workers held in closed-loop systems in places like Shanghai, unable to leave either their factories or accommodation while being ferried between the two.

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.