For several weeks, the city of Shanghai has been facing a rebound in the Covid-19 epidemic. To stem this recovery, the Chinese government has applied its Zero-Covid policy to the letter, cloistering employees in their factories. However, these drastic measures prompted the employees of an Apple and Tesla subcontractor to rebel and flee the production site en masse.
As you may know, Shanghai, one of the main Chinese cities, has been facing a rebound in the Covid-19 epidemic for several weeks. To stop this recurrence of the disease, Beijing has decided to reapply its strict Zero Covid policy. To prevent the spread of the virus and in order to maintain a certain productivity, the factories are invited to operate in “closed circuit. Understand that employees do not have the right to leave their place of work and are forced to sleep, feed and entertain themselves after their day’s work. This is particularly the case in Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai.
Quanta Shanghai Manufacturing City, one of the main contractors for Apple and Tesla, has opted for this strategy. It must be said that the site is a small town on its own, with its gigantic area equivalent to 20 football fieldsits thousands of dormitories capable of accommodating 40,000 employees and its supermarket.
A production site cited as an example by the Chinese state media. Since April 18, 2022, around 2,000 employees have returned to work, enough to reassure Apple, which relies on this factory to manufacture its new Macs. Indeed, the Taiwanese company produces 3/4 of the world’s MacBook production, while that it also provides the design of printed circuits for Tesla.
刚 局部 复工 的 上海 广达 子公司 上海 达丰 电子 周四 （5 日） 晚 发生 员工 「」。。 影片 见 ， 数百 名 名 年轻 不 指挥 ， ， 跳 过 过 过 门口 闸门 跑开 ， 集体 集体 集体 集体 集体 集体封锁线与警卫发生冲突。据悉员工因不满疫情防控，欲外出购买民生物资。 pic.twitter.com/3GpeBjHqG3
— 自由亚洲电台 (@RFA_Chinese) May 6, 2022
A “closed circuit” factory far from safe from Covid
Unfortunately, the praise of the Chinese Communist Party hides the reality on the ground. The Covid has already infected many employees of the Quanta factory. Indeed, cases were reported in several dormitories on campus, between March 26 and May 4, 2022. Quanta was careful not to give the exact number of patients. Quickly, calls for help from workers were published on Weibo, the main Chinese social network.
“Every dorm was reporting a few positive cases every day, and eventually everyone turned positive,” a worker told Reuters news agency. These sources clarified that positive employees were not systematically isolated, for lack of sufficient space. As a result, infections continued at a frantic pace in the Quanta plant. The inevitable happened. Faced with the threat of the introduction of even stricter measures, the workers said stop.
A riot breaks out at Apple’s subcontractor
Last week, many videos were posted on Twitter and YouTube. You can see hundreds of employees there force the sanitary blockades and attack the security guards in anti-Covid protective gear. The objective being to escape from the factory. This clash occurred after Quanta officials prevented employees from returning to their dormitories at the end of their working day.
Unsurprisingly, the videos of these riots were not relayed on Chinese TV channels and the country’s social networks. For now, Quanta has refrained from commenting on the matter. The same goes for Apple and Tesla. Recall that Tesla has decided to drastically reduce its production in the Shanghai Gigafactory because of Covid-19.