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iPhone maker Foxconn criticizes ‘malicious’ video of staff deaths as outrage mounts

Foxconn has denied on social media the claims of several deaths from a Covid outbreak at its main iPhone factory in China.

Foxconn Technology Group has denied social media claims of several deaths from a Covid outbreak at China’s main iPhone factory, calling the widespread videos “maliciously edited”.

The video, posted by a well-known Chinese dissident on Twitter, describes the deaths of eight Foxconn employees in a company-operated dormitory. The clip had been viewed more than 27,000 times by Tuesday afternoon. Similar posts circulated on Chinese social media, including Douyin, the local equivalent of TikTok.

The iPhone maker is grappling with growing concerns that a Covid flare-up at its main factory in Zhengzhou could hurt production just as Apple Inc. getting ready for the holidays. Social media erupted over the weekend with images of workers fleeing the factory, some on foot, to return to their hometowns miles away – scenes that sparked a national outcry.

“There are no deaths at our facility,” a Foxconn unit said in a statement. “We believe this is a maliciously edited video. The group makes every effort to ensure production safety and the health and safety of colleagues.”

Foxconn, which makes most of the world’s iPhones from its base in Zhengzhou, has made every effort in recent days to limit potential disruptions from the local Covid flare-up. It raises wages and arranges backup from its other Chinese factories if the assembly lines in Zhengzhou stall.

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