Workers at the world’s biggest iPhone factory have been filmed attacking police with metal railings and batons after riots broke out in China.
In shocking scenes, police officers in riot shields, face masks and hazmat suits make a hasty retreat as missiles rain down on them outside the plant.
After days of growing unrest, unprecedented chaos broke out in the city of Zhengzhou in China’s east-central Henan province.
Protests at an iPhone factory owned by Taiwanese firm Foxconn erupted after strict Covid rules were reimposed at the plant.
This comes just weeks after Foxconn brought in draconian COVID measures that forced employees to self-isolate.
In bizarre footage, workers were seen jumping fences to escape the lockdown at the factory, where reports claimed hungry workers were fighting for food.
Former employees estimate that thousands have fled the campus in Zhengzhou, which previously employed 200,000 people.
Foxconn is responsible for the production of 70 percent of the world’s iPhones, most of which are manufactured at its Zhengzhou plant.
Anger over the factory’s strict quarantine rules and poor conditions has grown since the Apple supplier implemented a so-called closed-loop system in late October.
Under closed-loop operations, employees live and work permanently on-site, unable to leave and visit the outside world.
Such is the desperation to fill jobs, local officials have reportedly urged retired soldiers and government employees to work at the plant.
But sources have told Reuters it could lead to unrest when Foxconn reportedly changed the terms of the contract for the new workers.
Fights broke out at the factory last month, with footage showing workers scrambling to grab boxes of food.
It was previously reported that iPhone production at the factory could drop by up to 30 percent in November, with Apple warning that it expects fewer shipments of the premium iPhone 14s than previously predicted.
Foxconn never treats humans as humans
The latest footage, reportedly filmed at the plant, shows thousands of workers surrounded by a small police squad.
They throw metal railings and whatever else they can get their hands on at the policemen, who try to make a quick escape.
In a separate video, police officers marching between two lines of activists are attacked, some with large iron bars.
Furious workers complain in the video that they never know if they will get food while in quarantine, and about inadequate measures to contain the Covid outbreak.
One person said, “Foxconn never treats humans as humans.”
The Sun Online has contacted Foxconn and Apple for comment.
“It is now clear that closed-loop production at Foxconn only helps prevent COVID from spreading to the city, but does nothing (if not make it worse) for the workers at the factory,” China Labor Eden Chow of the Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based advocacy group, said in an email.
Much of the footage, originally shared on the Chinese video platform Kuaishou, has been deleted, but clips have spread on Twitter.
Police reportedly beat and detained workers as they attempted to quell the protests, which are on a scale almost unheard of in China.
The video shows masked police officers as well as those in white hazmat suits waving sticks and rods at protesters.
It comes amid widespread anger in China over the government’s ultra-strict Covid restrictions, which have seen 400 million people in lockdown nearly three years after the first Covid-19 cases were discovered in Wuhan.
Some 31,527 cases were reported on Wednesday, compared to an April peak of 28,000.
Beijing is going back into lockdown as part of China’s draconian ‘Zero COVID’ lockdown measures.
Schools, restaurants, gyms, beauty salons and other facilities have been closed this week.
Beijing’s health authority posted a message on the Chinese social media platform Weibo saying the “epidemic control situation is at a critical juncture” in the city.
The capital now requires a negative PCR test result within 48 hours for those entering public places such as shopping malls, hotels and government buildings.