Home / News / World /  Chinese city hosting key IPhone plant lifts lockdown after five days

The central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, home of Apple Inc.’s largest manufacturing site, is lifting a lockdown on its main urban areas after five days. 

As of Nov. 30, Zhengzhou will remove so-called mobility controls -- a euphemism for lockdown -- and replace them with normal Covid-combating measures, according to a post on the local government’s official WeChat account. Businesses will be allowed to resume operations in an orderly manner, and people outside of designated high-risk areas can skip Covid tests as long as they don’t leave home. 

The announcement came hours after Chinese officials vowed to avoid excessive restrictions following the outbreak of weekend protests across the country against President Xi Jinping’s strict Covid Zero policy. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said on Monday that it saw a 30% chance of the policy ending before April, earlier than widely anticipated, in the wake of the demonstrations.

The government in Zhengzhou announced lockdowns of some residential apartments and buildings shortly after lifting area-wide restrictions, another sign that local officials are now opting for a more targeted approach to combat the virus, rather than blanket measures.

The iPhone plant in Zhengzhou, operated by Foxconn Technology Group, has been at the center of the some of the unrest, including a rare violent protest last week after almost a month under tough restrictions intended to quash a Covid outbreak.

Foxconn has been struggling to secure enough workers to crank out the latest iPhone 14 Pro devices, the most sought-after models of Apple’s latest handset offerings, as many have departed following Covid outbreaks on the campus. 

The Taiwanese company is offering various incentives to retain existing workers while luring former employees back. Turmoil at the plant is likely to result in a output shortfall of close to 6 million iPhone Pro units this year, Bloomberg News has reported. 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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