Apple’s Reliance on China Grows Perilous With Chaos in iPhone City
Xiao Han was just wrapping up the weeklong quarantine that marked the beginning of his latest stint working at the sprawling manufacturing complex in Zhengzhou, China, known as iPhone City when violence erupted there in late November. A large part of the 200,000-person workforce had already spent weeks living in forced isolation in trash-filled dormitories, subsisting on meager rations because management wanted to keep churning out Apple Inc. devices while squelching a Covid-19 outbreak. On Nov. 23 hundreds of workers, angry to learn they might not get the wages they’d been promised unless they kept at their jobs throughout the Spring Festival and into mid-March, pushed past the security staff guarding their living quarters, setting off a physical confrontation with riot police.
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