MacBook Maker Quanta factory workers clashed with factory guards obeying COVID-19 restrictions

It was reported today that hundreds of workers at a tech factory in China clashed with authorities and flooded isolation barriers after weeks of lockdown, a stunning break in the Communist Party’s efforts to contain COVID-19 infections.

The Shanghai factory, which is owned by Taiwanese company Quanta Computer Inc. and manufactures devices for Apple Inc., among others, has been operating under strict restrictions since early April. In a video shared on Twitter and YouTube, workers rushed through the barriers and tangled with guards in white protective gear who tried to keep them inside.

Quanta is a critical partner for Apple, generating more than 50% of its revenue from the Cupertino, Calif.-based company as it assembles MacBooks and other devices.

Quanta employees confirmed the clash happened on Thursday evening, while the company did not immediately provide comment. A worker said people fear further tightening because there are positive Covid cases on campus. The government plays a central role in managing the plant’s operations, another employee at the site said.

The incident underscores the mounting challenges to President Xi Jinping’s sweeping strategy to contain the pandemic. China has imposed sweeping lockdowns to quarantine infected people and prevent the spread of COVID, an approach that has sparked unusual protests and complaints in the 25 million-strong city of Shanghai. The policy has also threatened the Chinese economy, undermining its ability to achieve a target growth rate of 5.5%.

Tensions at the Quanta factory in Shanghai’s Songjiang district escalated after workers attempted to return to dormitories after their shift, according to Taiwanese news outlet UDN. More than 100 people jumped over a door and ran past staff ignoring their advice, he said.

People are tired and frustrated with controls, said one of the workers. For more, read the full Bloomberg report.

Although we couldn’t find a video of the Quanta incident, the video below shows Shanghai citizens clashing with authorities who even stop them from buying groceries.