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Foxconn, iPhone makers apologises after huge protests at China plant

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A day after its iPhone manufacturing in China was rocked by violent protesters, Apple supplier Foxconn apologized for a “technical issue” in its payment processes.

Hundreds of workers were seen rallying at the world’s largest iPhone manufacturing in Zhengzhou, with protests about Covid restrictions and reports of unpaid wages.

Workers were pummeled by police, according to those who were livestreaming the protests.

According to one Foxconn employee, the matter has subsequently been fixed.

The plant was closed down last month because to increased Covid cases, leading some workers to break out and go home. The corporation then hired additional employees with the promise of large bonuses.

However, one worker claimed that these contracts were modified so that they “could not receive the subsidies promised,” and that they were confined without food.

Foxconn issued a statement on Thursday stating that a “technical error happened during the onboarding process,” and that the salary of new recruits was “the same as agreed [in the] official recruitment posters.”

The company stated that it was in continual touch with the impacted employees about the salary and incentives, and that it was trying its utmost “to actively answer the concerns and fair requests of employees.”

On Thursday, a worker said he had got 8,000 yuan ($1120; £926) and was expecting another 2,000 yuan. He went on to say that there were no more protesters and that he and his colleague will return to the Foxconn plant.

The Zhengzhou plant employs over 200,000 employees to manufacture Apple Inc products such as the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

Separately, authorities ordered the city to go into lockdown on Thursday, stating that residents would be unable to leave unless they obtained a negative Covid test, affecting almost six million people.

It comes as China has reached a new Covid case peak since the epidemic began, with the country experiencing a surge of breakouts in major cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged China to rethink its zero-covid plan as the country’s economic growth slows.

The world’s second largest economy saw its GDP shrink by 2.6% in the three months to the end of June compared to the previous quarter.

“Although the zero-COVID strategy has become nimbler over time, the combination of more contagious COVID variants and persistent gaps in vaccinations have led to the need for more frequent lockdowns, weighing on consumption and private investment, including in housing,” according to an IMF annual report on China.

The financial organization also urged Beijing to increase vaccinations and provide relief for the country’s real estate crisis.

However, some analysts believe that the IMF’s advice will not persuade China to change its policies.

“Given that China is unlikely to be going to the IMF for help, it doesn’t really matter whether they pay attention to this statement or not, according to the Global Chief Economist of The Economist Intelligence Unit Simon Baptist. “For countries that might want to go to the IMF for support, then they will have more pressure to take action as a result. “

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US Bans Sale of Chinese Tech Amid Security Fears

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The United States has prohibited the sale and import of new communications equipment from five Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE, due to national security concerns.

Hikvision, Dahua, and Hytera are also included as manufacturers of video surveillance equipment and two-way radio systems.

It is the first time that US regulators have taken such a step for security reasons.

Hikvision claims that their goods pose no security risk to the United States.

It stated that the decision “would do nothing to protect US national security, but will significantly increase the risk and cost for US small enterprises, local governments, school districts, and individual consumers to safeguard themselves, their homes, businesses, and property.”

Previously, Huawei and others denied providing data to the Chinese government.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Friday that its members had voted unanimously to adopt the new rules.

“The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorised for use within our borders,” the commission’s chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.

“These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications,” she added.

Because the restriction is not retroactive, the companies mentioned may continue to sell products that were previously approved for sale in the United States.

However, the FCC stated that it is collecting opinion on future modifications to the rules involving equipment previously authorized to be imported or sold, implying that existing authorizations may be removed in the future.

The US restrictions are the latest imposed on Chinese IT businesses in response to surveillance fears, which US officials have grown increasingly concerned about in recent years.

Actions to restrict Chinese telecom corporations’ access to the US market initially took root during Barack Obama’s presidency. They were then accelerated during Donald Trump’s presidency and have continued under current US President Joe Biden’s rule.

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Mercedes to introduce acceleration subscription fee

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Mercedes-Benz will launch an online subscription service in the United States to help its electric vehicles accelerate faster.

The company would allow certain of its vehicles to sprint from 0-60mph in less than a second for an annual payment of $1,200 (£991) excluding tax.

It comes after competitor automaker BMW introduced a subscription service for heated seats earlier this year.

Mercedes has indicated that it does not intend to introduce “Acceleration Increase” in the UK at this time.

It will be offered in the United States on the Mercedes-EQ EQE 350 and EQS 450, as well as their SUV cousins.

According to the Mercedes US online store, the technology “electronically enhances” the output and torque of the car’s motor.

BMW received outrage in July after announcing that consumers may pay £25 per month to unlock heated seats and steering wheels in their vehicles.

Toyota also stated in December 2021 that it would charge select drivers $8 per month to remotely start their automobiles using a key fob.

Tesla introduced “Acceleration Boost” in 2019, which allows Model 3 vehicles to accelerate from 0-60mph in half a second for a one-time fee of $2,000.

The US Mercedes storefront lists the Acceleration Increase subscription as “coming soon,” with no specific release date.

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Musk says Twitter will offer ‘amnesty’ to suspended accounts

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Elon Musk has stated that Twitter will grant “universal amnesty” to certain suspended accounts beginning next week.

This comes after he launched a poll on Twitter on Wednesday, asking people if accounts that had “not breached the law or engaged in flagrant spam” should be allowed back on the platform.

Mr Musk has already restored several accounts, including that of former US President Donald Trump.

Last month, the world’s richest man paid $44 billion (£36.3 billion) for Twitter.

Mr Musk’s poll received over 3.1 million responses, with 72.4% voting “Yes.”

“The populace has spoken. The amnesty period begins next week “Mr Musk, who has 118.7 million followers on Twitter, later tweeted.

He also used the Latin phrase “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

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