SHANGHAI — Quanta Shanghai Manufacturing City would seem like an ideal site to implement China's "closed-loop" management system to prevent the spread of COVID that requires staff to live and work on-site in a secure bubble.
Sprawled over land the size of 20 football fields, the campus houses factories, living quarters for 40,000 workers, some living 12 per room, and even a supermarket.
But as COVID-19 breeched Quanta's defenses, the system broke down into chaos on Thursday.
Videos posted online showed more than a hundred Quanta workers physically overwhelming security guards in hazmat suits and vaulting over factory gates to escape being trapped inside the factory amid rumors that workers on the floor that day tested positive for COVID.
The turmoil at Quanta underscores the struggles Shanghai government officials face to get the city's factories, many of them key links in global supply chains, back up to speed even as much of the city of 25 million remains locked down under China's "dynamic-zero" COVID policy.
Taiwan-based Quanta puts together about three-quarters of Apple's global MacBook production and also manufactures computer circuit boards for Tesla.
Quanta did not respond to a request for comment on the videos, which appeared on Chinese social media platforms before being taken down. Apple declined to comment and Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
Quanta set up the closed-loop to restart work at the factory on April 18 with about 5 percent of workers, or 2,000 employees, with plans to triple that by April 22. Chinese state media touted the restart as an example of how Shanghai was keeping business open in the country's biggest economic hub, while adhering to stringent COVID measures.