Quanta Shanghai Manufacturing City appears to be an ideal location for China’s “closed-loop” management system, which requires staff to live and work on-site in a secure bubble, to prevent the spread of COVID. The campus, which spans 20 football fields, houses factories, living quarters for 40,000 workers, some of whom live 12 to a room, and even a supermarket.
However, as COVID-19 breached Quanta’s defenses, the system collapsed into chaos on Thursday.
More than a hundred Quanta employees were seen physically overpowering security guards in hazmat suits and vaulting over factory gates to avoid being trapped inside the factory amid rumors that employees on the floor that day tested positive for COVID.
The turmoil at Quanta highlights the challenges Shanghai faces in getting its factories, many of which are critical links in global supply chains, back up and running, even as much of the city of 25 million continues to remain under China’s “dynamic-zero” COVID policy.
Quanta, based in Taiwan, manufactures roughly three-quarters of Apple’s global MacBook manufacturing and also produces computer circuit boards for Tesla.
Quanta did not respond to requests for comment on the videos, which were initially posted on Chinese social media platforms before being removed. Apple declined to comment, and Tesla did not respond to an inquiry.
DAILY CASE REPORTS
However, cases were reported daily at a campus address from March 26 to May 4, as per Shanghai government statistics. Quanta has not revealed the number of cases among its employees.
Calls for assistance in drawing attention to positive cases that were not being isolated at Quanta started appearing on Weibo on April 6, five days after Shanghai imposed a city-wide lockdown.
Employees started posting photos and accounts on Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, showing dozens of workers queuing for buses to be taken to central quarantine facilities.