One of Apple’s largest suppliers is trying to strike a delicate balance in China.
Foxconn (HNHPF) has to comply with some of the harshest Covid rules in the world while ensuring that Apple’s (AAPL) shipments are not severely disrupted just before the key holiday season begins.
The Taiwanese company, which has been racing to control a Covid outbreak at its vast campus in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, has started recruiting for the facility once again and is offering bonuses for staff who had recently left, according to a statement posted on one of the company’s WeChat accounts.
Foxconn’s statement came just a day after Apple said it expects iPhone 14 shipments to be hit by China’s Covid curbs, which have “significantly reduced capacity” at the Zhengzhou facility, the world’s biggest iPhone factory.
“The epidemic has disrupted our work and life, but… the company has achieved milestone results in the current epidemic prevention measures,” Foxconn said on its Zhengzhou recruitment WeChat account on Monday.
“The production and living order of the park has been restored to normal gradually,” the statement added.
Anxious workers had reportedly fled the locked-down facility. Videos of many people leaving Zhengzhou on foot have gone viral on Chinese social media in recent days. Foxconn is now stepping up measures to get its staff back.
If they return, staff who left between October 10 and November 5 will receive a one-off bonus of 500 yuan ($69), according to the company. New workers will be offered a salary of 30 yuan ($4) per hour, according to the post.
Last Wednesday, Chinese authorities imposed a seven-day lockdown on the manufacturing zone that houses the Foxconn plant.
Workers will be able to start their work as soon as the “district-level lockdown is lifted,” Foxconn said in the WeChat post, at which point employees will be collected and driven to the factory for a closed-loop system — where staff will work and live on site.