Under the required closed-loop mode of production that keeps workers confined to Foxconn’s campus to minimise the spread of Covid-19, potential job candidates must go through a health check and a quarantine at a designated location before going to work on production lines. New hires must quarantine for four days, according to the latest notice from Foxconn’s iPhone production unit in Zhengzhou.

Once Foxconn solves the capacity issue, hiring is expected to speed up, the second agent said.

Foxconn did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The factory, which at its peak had about 300,000 workers, is struggling to maintain normal production. Apple issued a rare statement on November 6 saying the Covid-19 restrictions have delayed iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments amid “significantly reduced capacity” at the Zhengzhou facility.

Chinese workers flee world’s largest iPhone factory after Covid outbreak


Chinese workers flee world’s largest iPhone factory after Covid outbreak

An initial batch of new recruits arrived at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility last Sunday, according to a report by the government-run Henan Daily. Henan Vice-Governor Sun Shougang visited the campus that day, encouraging the employees to “be confident and united” that “production and living order will soon return to normal”.

Neither Foxconn nor the local government has reported the scale of the Covid-19 outbreak at the facility. Henan health authorities recorded 108 confirmed cases on Thursday, 107 from Zhengzhou. Among the 1,579 asymptomatic cases, 1,556 were from Zhengzhou.