Video shows workers at Apple and Tesla plant in Shanghai clashing with security guards for fear of closing COVID on site

Workers at an Apple vendor in Shanghai work under

Apple vendors in Shanghai work on a “closed loop” system where they work, live, eat and sleep on the spot.Qilai Shen / In Pictures via Getty Images Images

  • The videos show workers at the Apple and Tesla plant in Shanghai clashing with quarantine officers.

  • Workers were said to be frustrated by the measures against COVID-19 on the spot.

  • The conflict highlights the weakness of Shanghai’s plans to reopen its factories amid strict quarantine.

More than a hundred workers at a large Apple and Tesla manufacturing plant in Shanghai clashed Thursday with quarantine officials and security guards in a startling brawl, video on Twitter and YouTube shows.

Quanta Shanghai Manufacturing City workers were filmed jumping over a revolving door as officers in white protective gear tried to prevent them from breaking into the building.

Some workers exchanged physical blows with the guards. At one point, a worker appeared who hit someone in protective gear so that a worker, who was imprisoned in a fight with a person in protective gear, could escape.

The clash occurred when officials prevented workers from returning to their dormitories after shifts were completed, Bloomberg and Reuters reported. Anonymous respondents said workers were frustrated by Covid’s restrictions on the spot, according to Bloomberg.

Some said they were worried about the infection from workers who had returned from quarantine centers, according to Taiwanese newspapers USTV and UDN. They also feared that the spread of the virus at the factory would result in a re-closure of the campus, according to Taiwanese news.

Quanta, Apple and Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The dispute highlights the fragility of Shanghai’s attempts to start its own factories, even though large parts of the 25-million-strong city have remained under strict isolation measures for more than a month.

In an effort to minimize the impact of isolation on Shanghai’s economy, authorities have allowed some factories, including Tesla’s gig factory, to continue operating under a “closed loop” system in which workers work, live, eat and sleep on site and in nearby dormitories.

Taiwan-owned Quanta produces three-quarters of Apple’s MacBooks globally and assembles computer boards for Tesla cars. The Shanghai plant accounts for about 20% of Quante’s production for Apple, USTV reported. It also manufactures computer boards for Tesla.

On April 13, Quanta suspended work in Shanghai to adhere to local COVID-19 prevention measures. This prompted TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo to say that the delivery of the MacBook Pro will be delayed in three to five weeks.

The factory gradually resumed operations starting April 18, and about 2,000 of the 40,000 employees returned to the factory, Chinese state media Xinhua reported.

While news of the conflict at Quant’s factory in Shanghai spread on Twitter and YouTube, and was heavily reported by Taiwanese media, there is hardly any mention of it on Chinese social media and in the Chinese media.

According to the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, the city reported 3,625 asymptomatic Covid cases, 322 symptomatic cases and 11 deaths on Sunday. Some of these patients worked in factories that operated on a closed-loop system.

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