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 impacted by the rules.
Foxconn’s iPhone plant in Henan province experienced a lockdown earlier this fall which restricted the movements of people within a certain area experiencing a Covid outbreak. Some workers tried to flee the plant on foot.
Gou’s letter helped Chinese health officials and government advisers 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.