Taiwanese electronics company and major Apple supplier Foxconn will close two of its factories in the city of Kushan, China, as COVID-19 cases rise in the region.
According to South China Morning Post, factories are near Shanghai, and to avoid COVID spillovers, Kushan City has decreed a city-wide lockdown to prevent further contamination. On the surface, this seems like a blow to Apple, but Foxconn assures it has it all covered.
Another COVID Shutdown
According to another Reuters report, a Foxconn spokesperson said production had moved to other factories and many Apple products were stocked in overseas warehouses. So the overall impact on Apple and Foxconn will be minimal, at best.
The same cannot be said for other Foxconn production lines. The manufacture of data transmission equipment and connectors will remain suspended until Chinese authorities give them the green light to start again.
Despite Foxconn’s assurance, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. In March 2022, an outbreak of COVID-19 in the city of Shenzhen caused all production in the region to stop.
This included Foxconn’s Longhua and Guanlan factories where they made products for various tech giants like Apple and Samsung. Incidents like these have happened almost regularly during the pandemic, such as the May 2021 shutdown.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on the sudden shutdown and its impact on future products and will update this story when and if it responds.
Migration of production
Foxconn recently took steps to move iPhone production out of the Chinese mainland.
iPad and MacBook production moved to Vietnam in 2020 after Apple specifically requested it due to the US-China trade war. More recently, Foxconn’s factory in Sriperumbudur, India will start producing iPhone 13 devices after getting government clearance.
The future looks bright for Apple and Foxconn, but former employees could find themselves with the end of the stick. To begin with, Foxconn closed factories even though the local government allowed 60 companies to reopen production lines.
Employees were also put under a “closed-loop system,” meaning they were confined to their dormitories inside the two Foxconn campuses by order of authorities.