Foxconn slams ‘malicious’ video of staff deaths as outcry grows


The video, posted by a well-known Chinese dissident on Twitter, described the deaths of eight Foxconn workers inside a company-operated dormitory. — Reuters

Foxconn Technology Group has denied claims on social media of several deaths from a Covid outbreak at its main iPhone plant in China, calling the widely circulated videos “maliciously edited”.

The video, posted by a well-known Chinese dissident on Twitter, described the deaths of eight Foxconn workers inside a company-operated dormitory. The clip had attracted more than 27,000 views as of Tuesday afternoon. Similar posts circulated on Chinese social media including Douyin, the local equivalent of TikTok.

The iPhone-maker is grappling with mounting concern that a Covid flare-up at its main Zhengzhou plant could hurt production just as Apple Inc gears up for the holiday season. Social media erupted over the weekend with visuals of workers fleeing the plant, some on foot, to return to hometowns miles away – scenes that provoked a national outcry.

ALSO READ: iPhone factory worker walked 40km to escape Covid lockdown

“There are no deaths at our facility,” a Foxconn unit said in a statement. “We believe this is a maliciously edited video. The group is making every effort to ensure the production safety, and health and safety of colleagues.”

Foxconn, which makes most of the world’s iPhones from its Zhengzhou base, has scrambled in past days to mitigate potential disruption from the local Covid flare-up. It’s raising wages and arranging for backup from its other Chinese plants should assembly lines stall in Zhengzhou. – Bloomberg

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