Quanta, based in Taiwan, assembles about 75% of Apple's MacBooks and makes circuit boards for Tesla. The company has a massive manufacturing city set up in Shanghai. It houses 40,000 workers, some who live 12 to a room. According to Reuters, it has a grocery store and is roughly the size of 20 football fields.
When a COVID surge shut down Shanghai and China's "closed-loop" system was activated, the city seemed to be an ideal setting to proceed without a work stoppage.
Unfortunately, the virus penetrated the closed loop and the city devolved into chaos.
Once employees found out that co-workers tested positive, hundreds of Quanta staff flooded the exit gates. Video shows them physically overwhelming security guards outfitted in PPE and jumping over turnstiles to ensure they weren't trapped inside the factory.
According to Reuters, when workers were ordered not to return to their dorms, they feared they were entering another quarantine, and getting locked down inside the factory. Despite the lockdown, many workers still caught COVID, and it spread through the manufacturing city without sufficient isolation areas in the housing units.
China's "zero-COVID" strategy has caused concerns and dreadful living conditions for many manufacturing workers and really anyone who is symptomatic in the region. For example, employees at a GM joint venture were asked to sleep on the floor and work in isolation.
The city of some 26 million has been locked down since March 28, 2022.