China’s censorship system has muted desperate pleas from workers of the Foxconn iPhone factory in Zhengzhou , China. The facility has been battling a coronavirus flare-up.

Workers have been pleading for food and medical supplies. A video even shows an alleged starved-to-death worker being removed from a factory dormitory. 

A Foxconn spokesperson told CNBC that the pandemic was affecting only a small part of its workforce and they were handling the situation appropriately according to law.

The spokesperson quoted, “Foxconn, in compliance with local epidemic prevention policies, is providing the necessary guarantees for livelihoods, including material supplies, psychological comfort and responsive feedback.”

Workers’ interviews with other outlets unveil a bleaker picture. 

A Foxconn employee identified as Sun Yan 孙燕 told Chinese media Da Ji Yuan on October 27 that the manufacturing site is restricting staff from posting online. She said that a worker was given a warning on October 26 after uploading something on the internet.

Yan added that something occurred at the quarantine site in Evergrande Future Light, but internet and mobile signals were disconnected. Another unnamed Foxconn staff also says there has been no food or drink inside the isolation point.

Screenshots from an internal group discussion provided to Da Ji Yuan, detail how people have been denied meals. Only those with a negative COVID test result may line up for food, whereas quarantined people cannot get tested or given any health status. Furthermore, the plant stipulates that food is only distributed to those present in person, and no one may receive food on behalf of others. 

Two Foxconn employees tell the Financial Times that the plant has neglected to supply meals regularly to those under quarantine.

Another worker says they had been working under a closed-loop operation since October 7, after the week-long National holiday. The person, who shares a room with seven others, said he was required to stay in self-isolation five days ago. It was due to an abnormal COVID test result.

The worker says, “But no one is looking after me or arranging more tests for me.”

A Foxconn recruiter who had also been in lockdown told Da Ji Yuan people were having fevers but received no medical help. She says they couldn’t buy treatments, and no one was tending to them.
Outside of the quarantine site, an unverified video shows that the iPhone plant was having people cram up together waiting to get tested for COVID. The density of people contrasts with the logic of maintaining a distance to prevent the virus from spreading.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.