Apple assembly partner Foxconn is working to return its China-based production capabilities to half strength by the end of February. The company had shut its assembly plants down due to the still spreading coronavirus outbreak.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that people familiar with the company’s plans tell them Foxconn intends to restore 50% of all Chinese operations to active production by the end of the month.
Company chairman Liu Young-Way aims to have 80% of Foxconn’s production in China back online sometime in March, says the report.
Like many other businesses across China, Foxconn’s facilities have remained closed or at low capacity in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed 1,100+ people and infected 45,000+ people around the globe. The Chinese government extended the Lunar New Year holiday, a decision designed to reduce mass gatherings and help halt the spread of the virus.
Foxconn initially believed the coronavirus wouldn’t impact manufacturing, and targeted February 10 as the date to reopen their plants. However, the company is now following a more conservative timeline.
Foxconn last week told workers at its Shenzhen factory that they should not return to work. That facility is responsible for iPhone production. The firm’s Zhengzhou plant, which handles the lion’s share of iPhone 11 and 11 Pro assembly, is also closed. The company is reportedly moving some iPhone production to its plants in India and Taiwan, although production capacity at those plants is said to be limited.
Apple supplier Pegatron, which is rumored to be responsible for the assembly of Apple’s much-rumored “iPhone SE 2,” was allegedly slated to begin assembly of the device on February 10. While that date is said to have been pushed back, Apple is still rumored to be set to unveil the new handset in March.