Apple faces shortfall of 6 million iPhone Pros because protests against COVID-19 restrictions are impacting production, report says
- Apple faces shortfall of six million iPhone Pros due to mass protests in China, per Bloomberg.
- Workers at the world's largest iPhone factory have protested against pay and COVID-19 rules.
Apple faces a shortfall of nearly six million iPhone Pros this year as protests against China's zero-COVID policy ramp up in the country.
Bloomberg reported the news on Monday, citing a source.
The tech giant has a factory in Zhengzhou city, located in the central Chinese province of Henan, where a recent COVID-19 outbreak occured. Foxconn, the company that makes iPhones for Apple, runs the factory.
A person familiar with operations inside the Zhengzhou factory, who requested to remain anonymous, told Bloomberg the estimated shortfall in production could change. They added that it depended on how fast Foxconn can coax workers back into the plant amid the protests.
iPhone production could be pushed back further if COVID-19 lockdowns carry on over the next few weeks, the person told Bloomberg. Apple and Foxconn project they'll make up for the shortfall in six million iPhone Pros next year, the person added.
Protests started erupting at the world's biggest iPhone factory on Tuesday over withheld pay and harsh pandemic-related restrictions. Videos showed crowds of factory workers shoving and charging guards at the plant, Insider reported.
Over the weekend, the protests escalated and spread to other cities such as Xinjiang, Beijing, and Nanjing amid growing opposition to China's strict zero-COVID policies. The protests followed 10 people dying in an apartment fire in Xinjiang. Locals said firefighting was hindered by virus-control barriers, but city officials deny this, per the BBC.
Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant, where half of the world's iPhones are made, employed 200,000 workers at one point, per Reuters. The protests are causing supply chain issues as Apple was hit with shortages on Black Friday.
CNN reported that Foxconn on Wednesday offered 10,000 yuan, around $1,400, to protesting staff if they quit their jobs and leave the factory in Zhengzhou, known as "iPhone City." The payment is more than the average monthly wage for the factory workers, per Bloomberg.
Apple and Foxconn didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal US operating hours.
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