Following instability at the largest iPhone production in the world, Apple supplier Foxconn is stepping up its recruitment efforts.

Employees will earn a 1,000 yuan ($141) reward for successfully referring a friend or family member to work at the company's Zhengzhou, China, plant. Employees at Foxconn who recommend a new hire will receive 500 yuan if the applicant stays on staff for 15 days. They will receive an additional 500 yuan if the hire stays in the position for a full month, reports say.

Apple has warned that due to COVID restrictions, shipments of its new iPhone 14 will be delayed. Last week, footage of enraged protests at the workplace went viral on the internet. A video posted online at the end of October shows individuals leaping a fence outside Foxconn after a COVID outbreak prompted the company to go into lockdown.

The announcement came after social media images showed hundreds of workers struggling with security personnel.

The corporation then hired additional employees with the promise of large bonuses.

According to one worker, these contracts were modified so that they "could not get the subsidy promised" and they were confined without food.

A "technical error" in Foxconn's payment system resulted in demonstrations last month at the Zhengzhou factory over COVID limits and claims of past-due pay. Foxconn later apologized for the incident.

The protests and COVID, some analysts have cautioned

Production at "iPhone City" has been significantly impacted by lockdowns in advance of the holiday shopping season.

"What started out a month ago as 3% iPhone 14 Pro shortages grew to 5% last week and now are roughly 10%+ of overall units with the potential to increase over the coming month depending on any production improvements from Foxconn," Dan Ives from investment firm Wedbush Securities said.

Although Apple has not specified the extent of the problems at the Zhengzhou facility, it has warned of delays in the delivery of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The National Health Commission of China reported 36,061 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, a decrease from 37,828 new cases on Tuesday.

China's economic growth is being hampered by the country's zero-COVID policy and a slowing global economy.

In November, factory activity in the world's second-largest economy fell more than predicted. According to the most recent official numbers released on Wednesday, the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipped to 48 from 49.2 in October.