Chinese state media Yicai.com reports that Apple assembler Foxconn has overcome its manpower crisis in the Zhengzhou plant in Henan province.
The production complex’s executive, Yang Han, said, “The quota is finally met. And our hiring process is now closed temporarily.”
As of November 17, Foxconn has managed to find more than 100,000 applicants to replenish its production lines in the factory. Yang expressed gratitude to local authorities for the quick recovery.
Workers fled the site en masse in late October after alleged weeks of punishing COVID containment efforts inside the facility.
To keep production humming ahead of a peak season, officials across Henan province have resorted to all means to assist the Apple assembler. It even includes sending official cadres or engaging military veterans to work at the plant.
CNN reports that the government of Changge city praised retired military personnel as an essential human talent resource. It appealed to them to respond to the regime’s call to work at Foxconn.
The Financial Times reports that they were also urging villagers to fill the workforce. One village official in Baofeng County said they had been ordered to squeeze out at least seven people from the area to join Foxconn. Some officials even personally contacted former workers to convince them to return.
Escaped employees previously relayed their harrowing experience at the facility, saying they would never return. Online complaints detailed starvation, derelict hygiene, and medicine shortages. The authorities have tried to flip this general impression with positive videos and articles. Such as Dahe Net, which reports that the working conditions have been improved.
Foxconn itself also quadrupled daily bonuses to encourage new sign-ups.
The frantic hiring came as Apple expects lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments due to the disruption at the Zhengzhou manufacturing site. CNN notes that the factory is the biggest iPhone assembly center globally, which typically handles from 50% to 60% of Foxconn’s total global iPhone assembly capacity.