The rare scenes of open dissent in China mark an escalation of unrest at the massive factory in Zhengzhou city that has come to symbolise a dangerous build-up in frustration with the country's ultra-harsh COVID rules as well as inept handling of the situation by the world's largest contract manufacturer. The trigger for the protests, which began early on Wednesday, appeared to be a plan to delay bonus payments, many of the demonstrators said on livestream feeds. The videos could not be immediately verified by Reuters.
Videos posted to social media show workers chanting "Give us our pay!" and breaking down quarantine barriers. "COVID police" can be seen surrounding and kicking a worker on the ground.
Foxconn claims it has fulfilled its payment contracts and denies housing new recruits with infected staff.
"Regarding any violence, the company will continue to communicate with employees and the government to prevent similar incidents from happening again," the company added.
Sources tell Reuters that production at the plant was unaffected by worker unrest and output remained "normal". Foxconn has been aiming to resume full production by mid November but it's unclear if the company will be able to get new recruits online by the end of November.
A second source said,"Originally, we were trying to see if the new recruits could go online by the end of November. But with the unrest, it's certain that we can't resume normal production by the month-end."
The lockdown has significantly reduced supply of the new iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Apple warned of significant shortages in early November and by November 15 the Pro models were sold out for the year.
Take a look at some video footage of the protests below...