The coronavirus continues to impact iPhone production, with Foxconn’s Chinese plants being severely hit. The company’s Shenzen plant has not yet been allowed to reopen, while their Zhengzhou plant is open once again, but with only 10% of their workforce.
Foxconn last week told workers at its Shenzhen factory that they should not return to work.
To safeguard everyone’s health and safety and comply with government virus prevention measures, we urge you not to return to Shenzhen,” Foxconn wrote in a text message sent to employees. “We’ll update you on the situation in the city. The company will protect everyone’s work-related rights and interests in the duration. As for the happy reunion date in Shenzhen, please wait for further notice.”
The move was due to the Chinese government’s banning the plant from reopening. A Reuters report today says Foxconn requested permission form the Chinese government to resume production at the Shenzhen facility but has been refused permission.
“Our request to resume production (in Shenzhen) was disapproved. We need to improve our virus control measures for another check,” said the person who declined to be identified because they are not authorised to speak publicly on the matter […]
Authorities in the manufacturing hub of Shenzhen will check the plant again later this week to ensure virus control measures are properly in place, the person said, adding that employees there were told not to return to work on Tuesday.
Reuters also reports that the company has been granted approval to restart production at its Zhengzhou facility. However, only 10% of the workforce has turned up.
Apple supplier Foxconn got approval to resume production at a key China plant after being forced to shut it following a coronavirus outbreak, but only 10% of the factory’s workforce has managed to return so far, a source told Reuters.
The small returning number is likely due to transportation restrictions preventing workers from returning to the city after celebrating Chinese New Year with their families.
Reuters also reports that “‘company executives were trying very hard to negotiate with authorities to resume production in other parts of China, including Kunshan.”
Well-connected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had previously estimated Apple the coronavirus would affect iPhone shipments, reducing them by as much as 10%. The impact on smartphone sales inside China could be worse, as stores are also closed in the country, offering fewer opportunities for buyers to purchase smartphones. Some estimates say smartphone sales in the country could be as much as 50% lower.