Apple’s “iPhone City,” in Zhengzhou, recently moved 870 workers to a hub about 230 miles away in a neighboring province without notifying them in advance, according to information from Bloomberg.

In the official announcement about the incident on Weibo, authorities did not say whether any of those transferred were positive for COVID.

All the workers used to work for a “key enterprise” in Zhengzhou’s airport economic zone but did not say which business.

A Foxconn representative did not respond to questions outside of business hours on Saturday.

Zhengzhou has recently become the center of attention globally after videos of hundreds of workers and police and epidemic prevention and control forces clashing fiercely appeared on social media.

The reason for the conflict is the dissatisfaction of the escaping workers who rushed back to work hoping for a promised bonus that failed. They also have concerns about getting the virus when isolated in the same room with workers who had tested positive for COVID.

Apple’s leading global manufacturing partner then began offering almost $1,400 (10,000 yuan) to any worker who chose to leave.

Zhengzhou announced a lockdown of its main urban areas early last week for five days from November 25 to quell a new outbreak.

The iPhone factory is in an area classified as high-risk. Therefore, lockdown-like movement restrictions still apply to the plant.

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