The Chinese Communist Party continues to take severe measures to limit the spread of COVID-19—including the lockdown of a major Apple iPhone plant and the closure of Disneyland in Shanghai after one guest tested positive for the virus. 

An official from the National Health Commission’s disease prevention and control bureau told Reuters that the country’s approach to the virus has been “completely correct,” and, despite the criticism, is “the most economical and effective” option for the country. (See “CHINA’S XI HINTS THAT HE WILL NOT LET UP ON COUNTRY’S ZERO-COVID POLICY…WILL WEST FOLLOW AGAIN?” and “SPOTLIGHT CHINA.”

The official was asked if a policy change could be in the future and said Beijing will continue to put people and lives first, and the broader strategy of preventing imports from outside and internal rebounds. 

The country of 1.41 billion announced 3,500 new COVID cases on Friday. Of those, just 500 exhibited any symptoms.  

Apple Plant

Foxconn is the Taiwanese tech giant that runs an iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province in central China. The company shut down the facility due to COVID cases and held about 200,000 employees on the premises for weeks—prompting some workers to break out of the location as though it was a prison. 

The plant went into lockdown in October—shortly after cases began emerging inside the facility. Operators of the plant immediately began to test employees and take daily temperature checks, and barred workers from gathering in areas like the cafeteria. Food for tens of thousands has been unloaded outside the facility, according to reports. 

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed workers, said many did not have an adequate amount of food and did not have other necessities. Hundreds of workers managed to escape the plant, the report said. But that effort has been slowed in recent days after the entire Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone ordered a lockdown, making it more challenging for these workers to find transportation in the city.

The company has been tight-lipped about how many cases there were inside the plant, but some rumors put the number at about 20,000. Foxconn has also offered workers bonuses to stay put, while essentially being sealed off from the outside world. These iPhones can be produced at other Foxconn facilities in the country.

Video of workers jumping chain-linked fences and lugging suitcases up hills have emerged online. There was one unconfirmed video that purported to show a female escaped plant worker holding on to the back of an oil tanker speeding on a highway during a rainstorm in a desperate bid to flee.

The conditions inside the plant are said to be dire. Despite the frequent testing, those that come down with the virus seldom get treatment and there are unconfirmed reports that dead bodies are inside some of the dormitories. 

The WSJ, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that the company will tap into other factories across the country to produce the new iPhone.


A Disneyland location in Shanghai was forced to close last week after one case of COVID-19 sent park workers into a panic.

The park only allowed people to leave the facility if they tested negative for the virus. Disney told the Financial Times that it was not sure how many people were inside the park, but said it was following government guidelines.

The paper described how China manages to track cases through a QR code on smartphones. These codes enable Chinese visitors and residents to enter buildings and other public venues.

The individual who tested positive visited a restaurant and a noodle shop in Shanghai, resulting in 706 people being forced into quarantine. Nearly 70,000 had to be tested. 

Xi Jinping, the head of the CCP and China’s president, has made it clear that his COVID-19 approach will not be dictated by economic trends. The China Tourism Academy said in 2021 that consumer spending tied to Shanghai Disney contributed to about 0.21 percent to Shanghai’s GDP growth from June 2016 to June 2019.

The resort, which is Disney’s largest international park, reopened on 30 June after closing for over 100 days while the city dealt with COVID-19 infections.

TRENDPOST: We noted earlier this month that Xi Jinping, when accepting his third term as China’s president, vowed no letup in the policy, saying it has “protected the people’s health and safety to the greatest extent possible.”

We’ve noted that Xi has filled his top brass with Yes-Men, but indicated Friday that he is not completely ignorant to the hardships the country faces. He told the fifth annual China International Import Expo in Shanghai that China will pursue a “mutually beneficial strategy” of opening up and adhering to the “right course of economic globalization.” 

“We will step up efforts to cultivate a robust domestic market, upgrade trade in goods, develop new mechanisms for trade in services, and import more quality products,” he said. “China will work with all countries and parties to share the opportunities in its vast market.”

The same day Xi made those comments, stocks in China rose after China’s Global Times said local officials have been warned not to pursue “excessively harsh” COVID measures. 

The Global Times said the National Health Commission made the announcement to “correct mistakes from overly strict measures that have caused damage to people’s properties and lives.”

Those hopes were dashed on Sunday when health officials said they would “unswervingly” stick to the policy, the Associated Press reported.

Mi Feng, a spokesperson for the National Health Commission, said China will continue to maintain its dynamic zero-COVID strategy as the country, The Global Times reported. 

We noted earlier this month that more than half of the 307 companies surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai believe the draconian anti-COVID lockdown measures being continued by China’s president Xi Jinping are damaging business conditions.

A fifth of the firms said they are cutting back on new investment because of the policy.

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