Highlights

  • Workers complaining about food they had been given
  • And saying they had not received bonuses as promised
  • Videos also showed crowds of armed police at the site

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The Zhengzhou plant is the world’s largest iPhone factory with some 200,000 workers

Employees at the world's biggest Apple iPhone factory have been beaten and detained in protests over contract disputes amid anti-virus controls, according to footage circulated widely online.

Videos on Wednesday showed hundreds of workers marching on a road in daylight, with some being confronted by a row of riot police and people in hazmat suits.

Some videos showed workers complaining about the food they had been provided while others said they had not been paid bonuses as promised.

Since late October, many workers have fled – their escapes captured on social media – as frustration mounts over treatment of employees and how Covid cases were being handled, including what they said were insufficient provisions of food.

In a bid to restore production, the factory operator, Foxconn began a drive to convince workers to stay and to recruit more staff, promising higher per-hour salaries and bonuses.

The curbs and discontent have hit production, prompting Apple to say earlier this month that it expected lower shipments of premium iPhone 14 models.

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