China's “zero Covid” policy has slowed factory output and quickly turned Apple's close ties with the country from an asset into a liability. While Apple is taking steps to try and slowly extract itself, this is difficult given just how entangled its business is with Beijing. The Chinese government must loosen COVID restrictions if Apple is to recover any of its supply shortages and meet demand.
The Chinese government’s insistence on strict COVID lockdowns should not be used as an excuse by companies like Foxconn and Apple to enact forced labor, and closed-loop management practices are exactly that. Foxconn is choosing to prioritize profit over workers’ health and human rights, and Apple refuses to acknowledge the harms committed under its watch. Western consumers have a responsibility to speak out.
There's a 50% chance that China will officially cease to be a socialist state by March 7, 2086, according to the Metaculus Prediction Community.