Apple workers in China storm the barricades

By Scoop
May 11, 2022 · less than 3 min read

Rotten conditions proved too much for the locked-down workers. 

Do you hear the people sing? 

Apple’s mass-production factories in China rarely make headlines for hospitable conditions and high living standards. But as the Chinese state battles another Covid wave, things proved too much for the workers at the Quanta factory in Songjiang. 

In footage that first surfaced last week, thousands of workers broke out of a production factory and battled off helpless security guards in a rare and surprising demonstration against authority. Due to extremely tight Covid isolation rules, it’s believed the workers were being prevented from returning to their dormitories at the end of their shift, which triggered the unrest.

See the footage for yourself.  

The straw that broke the camel’s back 

It’s rare for protests and riots to take place in China. The state is infamous for a no-nonsense approach to discipline and civil society, but as the authorities continue efforts to rally its people behind the strained ‘zero Covid’ policy, retaining the rules is getting harder and harder.  

Shanghai has seen a brutal lockdown extended several times over, and despite the number of new Covid cases finally shrinking the Chinese state intensified the lockdown, leaving people trapped in their homes – sometimes even without food.  

The deep lockdown in the city is also going to wreak havoc on markets. Apple has already announced long delays to deliveries of MacBooks, with Tesla the latest to announce delays in getting its goods out of Shanghai.  

It’s a torrid time for tech firms. And while many of them benefitted from early lockdowns, they’ll all be keen to see the back of Covid once and for all. When that will be though, is anyone’s guess.  

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