A Chinese county reportedly asked retired PLA personnel to take part in the resumption of production at Foxconn
Retired People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel have reportedly been encouraged to come work at the world’s largest iPhone factory in China’s Henan province, as local authorities try to bolster production at the facility.
According to the South China Morning Post, the veteran affairs bureau in Changge – a county with a population of just over 700,000 people – posted an open letter on Tuesday, urging former military personnel to “answer the government’s call” and “take part in the resumption of production” at Foxconn’s manufacturing complex. The facility makes the popular iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max smartphones. The message, the paper writes, was later removed without explanation from the bureau’s official channel on the WeChat platform.
This comes as Henan authorities have launched a province-wide campaign to recruit fresh assembly line workers for the factory.
The facility, as well as the surrounding areas of the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone (ZAEZ), had been under “static lockdown” for an entire week earlier this month after the number of Covid-19 cases spiked in the region.
That followed reports about a mass exodus of workers from the Foxconn factory. A video shared on Chinese social media showed people leaving the facility on foot because public transportation in the city was restricted over Covid-19 concerns. The walkout was apparently caused by an outbreak of the disease on the premises and fears of a full lockdown.
Apple has since warned that shipments of the popular iPhone 14 models would likely be delayed due to the slowdown of operations at the facility.
Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou employs some 300,000 workers and is touted as the world’s largest iPhone assembly facility. According to an estimate cited by Bloomberg, it is responsible for 80% of capacity for the new iPhone 14 series, including more than 85% of capacity for the iPhone 14 Pro.