- Foxconn protest spirals out of control
- Berlin’s China Strategy: quarrels despite consensus
- World Cup without masks outrages Chinese
- Taiwanese colonel accused of being a spy
- Billions in aid for real estate sector
- Heads: distance learning professor Hans-Joerg Schmerer
The images from the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou resemble revolutionary or civil war scenes: faces covered in blood, torn-down barriers, clouds of tear gas and water cannons sweeping people off the streets. Both at night and during the day yesterday, turbulent scenes erupted around the Apple supplier’s largest plant, which, with its 200,000 or so employees, feels like a city within a city. Inadequate supplies and poor pay have enraged the workforce. Since October, the gigantic plant has been operating in a “closed circuit” due to Covid outbreaks, which means no one can get out.
Despite censorship, the images of the riots now make the rounds in China as well. And they fuel discussions about what price the country should still pay for the strict Covid measures. More and more people realize how confusing the situation is in parts of the country and how quickly the mood can tip, our team reports from Beijing.
The price Germany is willing to pay for its dependence on China is currently being debated in the drafting of Germany’s China strategy. Friction is inevitable. As a Green politician, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wants to focus on human rights, while the Chancellor’s Office under Olaf Scholz defends the interests of business – at least that is the common narrative. Finn Mayer-Kuckuk has taken a closer look at the two positions based on the sources currently available. His conclusion: The draft from the Foreign Office actually reflects the main ideas of the Chancellor’s Office. But there are also decisive differences. And: In the end, the chancellor has the last word.
Riots and protests at Apple supplier Foxconn
Disturbing protest images from Zhengzhou flooded the social media on Wednesday morning. Once again, the focus is on the mega-plant of Apple supplier Foxconn. What can be seen are chaotic scenes in which hundreds of workers initially fight security forces in the darkness of the night on the factory grounds. There is shouting. Tear gas is sprayed. “Defend our rights!” the workers shout.
Later, at dawn, hundreds of employees march down a street outside the plant. Police officers in white Covid security suits seem to retreat at first. But then the two groups clash. Equipped with batons and protective plastic shields, the security forces crackdown on the protesters.
The massive protests present a problem for both Apple and the Chinese government. The situation becomes increasingly dicey for the US company. A few weeks ago, Apple already announced shipping problems for the new iPhone 14 due to the unstable situation at the factory. The warning came after thousands of employees fled the plant to escape the strict Covid measures. Parts of the workforce complained about a poor supply situation, others feared an infection with the virus (China.Table reported).