It Was All A Mistake, iPhone Supplier Says After Violent Worker Protests In China

Hon Hai Precision Industry apologized on Thursday for a “technical error” in announcing the amount of bonuses promised to new staff following violent protests at the world’s largest Apple iPhone plant in mainland China, the Central News Agency reported on Friday. (See post here.)

Taiwan-based Hon Hai, better known by its trade name Foxconn, promised new workers who chose to stay in their jobs bonuses for their first two months of work, CNA said, citing social media posts by workers at the plant in the central China city of Zhengzhou.

Hon Hai, one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, was alleged to have changed the terms of its contract with the new hires to say they must work until at least March 2023 or forfeit all subsidies, CNA reported. That would mean they would have to continue through the Lunar New Year holiday in January, a time when many Chinese around the world return home for family gatherings. Hon Hai said yesterday it world pay the amount advertised on help-wanted posters, CNA said.

The alleged rule change came amid mainland China’s zero-Covid lockdowns and fears that Zhengzhou would add new restrictions after authorities said they would ease pandemic-related restrictions, CNA said.

Worker protests on Tuesday turned violent, with livestreamed online video showing clashes between workers and police, the BBC reported. (See earlier post here.)

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, a government agency that oversees ties with the mainland, said that the incident highlights worsening and increasingly volatile investment conditions in China due to Beijing’s zero-Covid policy, CNA said.

The protests come just ahead of a key holiday shopping season for Apple in the United States.

Hon Hai founder Terry Gou is worth $6.1 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List today.

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