Numerous videos of workers leaving the company’s factory premises in the eastern Chinese metropolis of Zhengzhou circulated on social media over the weekend. You could see how people sometimes climbed over fences and escaped across fields with suitcases and belongings.

    The city government later released a statement saying that the Taiwanese company Foxconn had promised to improve living and working conditions for any workers who chose to stay. Orderly transport should be provided for others.

    The plant in Zhengzhou, where several hundred thousand people work in normal times, is one of the most important production sites for Apple’s iPhones. There had already been reports of extremely poor conditions in the past few days after strict corona measures had been imposed in parts of the city. Employees were therefore no longer allowed to leave the premises, but should continue to work. Workers also complained about problems with the food supply.

    China’s economy is suffering because Beijing does not want to move away from its strict “zero corona policy”. The aim of this is to nip any outbreak of the virus in the bud.

    Disney closes theme park in Shanghai

    Disney also closed its theme park in Shanghai at short notice. Visitors are only allowed to leave the site if they can show a negative corona test. Videos posted on Chinese Twitter rival Weibo show people rushing toward exits that have already been locked. The images could not initially be independently verified.

    Videos of people hurrying out of office complexes and shopping centers to avoid being quarantined have been circulating in China for months. Over the weekend, Chinese online networks surfaced footage purporting to show Foxconn employees trying to get to their home towns on foot across roads and fields. Their authenticity could not be verified at first. Around 200,000 workers are employed at the Zhengzhou site.

    China sticks to zero-Covid strategy

    “In view of the ongoing zero-Covid strategy, the economy will struggle until 2023,” said economist Zichun Huang from the research house Capital Economics. A departure from the strict restrictions to contain the pandemic is not expected until 2024 at the earliest.

    China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping reaffirmed his government’s rigid course at the congress of the Communist Party in mid-October. In the People’s Republic, 2898 infected people were counted on Sunday, a small number in international comparison.

    Lockdowns were also imposed on parts of Macau over the weekend after a handful of infections were discovered in the gambling metropolis. The city had previously been corona-free for a good three months. This caused US casino operators MGM and Wynn, which also operate casinos in Macau, to lose up to 4.7 percent on Wall Street before the market opened.

    Apple shares temporarily lost 1.94 percent to $ 152.72 in NASDAQ trading. For the Disney paper, the NYSE temporarily fell 0.61 percent to $105.30.


    PEKING (dpa-AFX) / Taipei/Beijing (Reuters)

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