Apple warns China’s ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns are having a significant impact on iPhone production

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Apple has warned that COVID-19 lockdowns in China are having a “significant” impact on its iPhone supply chain.

“COVID-19 restrictions have temporarily affected the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max main assembly plant located in Zhengzhou, China,” the company said in a statement on Sunday. “The facility is currently operating at a significantly reduced capacity.”

The factory makes Apple’s most expensive high-end iPhone models.

But as the lives and livelihoods of China-based Apple assembly line workers are upended by the zero-COVID policies of China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Apple is feeling the effects of COVID-19 restrictions. 19 in progress.

“We now expect lower shipments of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max than we previously anticipated and customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products,” he said. warned the company to its consumers.

According to the statement, the company “prioritizes the health and safety of workers in our supply chain.”

The impacted Apple supplier in Zhengzhou is Foxconn. Its Zhengzhou plant is the world’s largest Apple iPhone assembly plant and Apple’s primary global source of supply.

Foxconn said Monday in response to Apple’s statement that it “is now working with the government in [a] a concerted effort to eradicate the pandemic and resume production at full capacity as soon as possible.”

He added that new measures would be implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the factory through a system that restricts the movement of factory workers.

Under CCP policies, many factory workers in the capital of Henan province were forced into mandatory quarantine after a cluster of positive COVID-19 cases were detected late last month. .

According to notices seen by The Epoch Times, tens of thousands of workers were quarantined during the initial outbreak, though some have since been released after returning consecutive negative tests for several days. The Financial Times described the number of departures as a massive “exodus” in an October 30 report.

Authorities ordered a seven-day lockdown for the industrial park where the iPhone factory is located on November 2.

Those who tested positive remain trapped in quarantine, with workers complaining of a lack of basic food, medicine and vital supplies.

The Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou has approximately 300,000 employees.

Supply chains in China

Apple’s supply chain in China has been suffering from CCP COVID restrictions since at least April this year, with another of its Taiwanese suppliers, Pegatron, with factories in Shanghai reporting impacts on operations under the infamous lockdowns. mass of the city at the time. Pegatron predicted the disruptions would cost the company up to $8 billion in revenue this quarter.

A number of Foxconn factories in southern China have also been affected by the closures. In August, the company signed a $300 million memorandum of understanding with a developer to expand its facilities in northern Vietnam, indicating considerations for expanding operations outside of China, as companies there are still facing uncertainty over the CCP’s seemingly indefinite zero-COVID policies. .

In 2021, Foxconn invested $1.5 billion in Vietnam, according to the Southeast Asian country’s government. The Apple supplier also has smaller production sites in India.

Foxconn said on Monday it had downgraded its outlook for the fourth quarter of the year. It publishes its third quarter results on November 10.

Jessica Mao and Reuters contributed to this report.

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Melanie is an Australia-based journalist and editor who covers global news. She has a background in environmental research.

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