Not long ago, Foxconn in Zhengzhou had a large-scale exodus of employees due to the COVID pandemic. Another mass protest broke out at Xinrong Central Golden Land Apartments in Zhengzhou on November 20, where many employees gathered and knocked down barricades. Locals said that to retain Foxconn employees and ensure production progress, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) surrounded them in the name of the pandemic.

After the last mass exodus of workers, the CCP acted quickly. Foxconn said that, under the direction of authorities to implement the pandemic prevention policy, 8 out of 11 dormitories in the Zhengzhou factory area had been locked down.

However, Zhao, a Zhengzhou resident, told Sound of Hope that the reason the CCP government blocked Foxconn employees was not just because of the pandemic. “Many Foxconn employees have fled and no one is currently working. Surrounding them is not only a matter of pandemic prevention, but also a matter of forced labor.”

Foxconn Zhengzhou, which produces over half of the world’s iPhones, is a primary taxpayer and employer in Henan province. In addition, the CCP has an interest in supporting companies like Foxconn.

To keep Foxconn, the CCP mobilized its vast network of Party members, civil servants, and veterans to help Foxconn Zhengzhou recruit workers.

According to NetEase, the authorities of a town in Zhukou city, eastern Henan province, held a meeting on Foxconn’s recruitment issue and assigned work quotas to cadres.

Zhao said: “Foxconn’s employees are in very short supply now. Therefore, we have searched all parts of Henan province and let the local authorities. Even grassroots officials send one person from each village to work for Foxconn because there are no workers.”

The move reflects the weak state of the Chinese economy and concerns that Apple and other companies could shift production out of China.

The CCP’s “zero-COVID” policy has made it difficult for domestic and foreign companies operating in China. In addition, these strict prevention measures have led some foreign manufacturers with longstanding ties to China, including Apple, to look to countries like Vietnam and India to reduce their reliance on China. 

Zhao said: “The system is already crazy, its conflict with the people is getting bigger and bigger. Now people don’t believe in anything. It’s to strengthen control further, anyway, visible and invisible things are all forced labor, both are kidnapping. I think the internal conflict is too great, now it has no other choice but to drink poison to quench its thirst.”

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