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Foxconn's iPhone production is under pressure due to new COVID restrictions and Employees Fleeing the Plant


Last Wednesday, Patently Apple posted a report titled "With COVID Cases Hitting the largest iPhone Plant in China every day, Foxconn claims that production remains Relatively Stable. Today it's being reported that Foxconn's production could fall 30% due to COVID curbs.


Reuters is reporting this morning that "Production of Apple Inc's iPhones could slump by as much as 30% at one of the world's biggest factories next month due to tightening COVID-19 curbs in China, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.


Manufacturer Foxconn, formally Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, is working to boost production at another factory in Shenzhen city to make up for the shortfall, said the person, declining to be identified as the information was private.


Its main Zhengzhou plant in central China, which employs about 200,000 people, has been rocked by discontent over stringent measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, with several workers fleeing the site over the weekend.


The possible impact on production comes amid a traditionally busy time for electronics makers ahead of the year-end holiday season, which is also a prime time for vendors such as Apple.


Foxconn on Sunday said it was bringing the situation under control and would coordinate back-up production with other plants to reduce any potential impact. For more on this, read the full Reuters report (behind pay wall).  


The South China Morning Post (SCMP) is reporting at a different level. They've posted photos of some Foxconn employees fleeing in the middle of the night to get away from the Foxconn plant. The report has several photos supporting that fact.


SCMP further reports that "Foxconn has set up seven pickup points for workers leaving the campus, according to the company’s latest notice. Local authorities in other cities in Henan, where many Foxconn workers come from, have also rushed to arrange coaches to take people home.


A driver from the city of Jiaozuo, which borders Zhengzhou and makes up 3.5 per cent of Henan’s population, said the city has arranged four buses to shuttle between Foxconn and a local quarantine and reception centre. Another driver said three more buses were added on Sunday, taking back around 400 workers.


Henan Daily, a local official newspaper, quoted an unidentified person in charge of the Foxconn unit responsible for assembling the iPhone 14 series, saying that the plant is in desperate need for workers to support the current peak production season and has pleaded for support from factories in other parts of China.


However, the incident has not changed his current forecast of iPhone shipments, he said, adding that he believes Foxconn’s production capacity “will gradually improve within a few weeks” with “limited impact” on iPhone shipments in the fourth quarter.


The company also told employees on Sunday that the factory would “return to order” in four to five days, and workers who clock in every day would get bonuses, according to a report by Xinhuanghe, a media outlet under the state-run Jinan Daily News Group. For more, read the full SCMP report by Coco Feng here.




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Jack Purcher



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