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Apple supplier Foxconn reportedly helped persuade China to loosen Covid rules

A man passes by a compound of the electronics manufacturer Foxconn in Shenzhen on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022.

AH CHI | Future Publishing | Getty Images

The founder of China-based Apple supplier Foxconn helped persuade the country’s leaders to loosen the Covid restrictions that led to protests in China, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

In a letter to Chinese leaders sent over a month ago, the Journal wrote, Foxconn founder Terry Gou said China’s zero-Covid policy threatened its position in global supply chains. He also asked for more transparency about how Foxconn’s workers were affected by the rules.

Foxconn’s iPhone plant in Henan province was locked down earlier this fall, restricting the movements of people in an area that was experiencing a Covid outbreak. Some workers tried to flee the plant on foot.

Gou’s letter helped Chinese health officials and government advisors make the case for accelerated easing of Covid restrictions, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. The protests that later spread throughout China furthered that case.

Officials who favored a more lenient approach said that the highly contagious omicron variant meant lockdowns would become more common under China’s most restrictive policies while unrest over the rules was mounting.

Foxconn and the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.

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WATCH: iPhone workers in China revolt against Foxconn and zero-Covid policy

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