iPhone maker Foxconn ”gradually” resuming production capacity

(IANS) Leading contract electronics maker Foxconn is gradually resuming production capacity at its major manufacturing base at Zhengzhou in China”s Henan province.

Its production in the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone had slowed due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in January, affecting the international supply chain, Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

Apple said in February that its revenue for the current quarter would be below its forecasts and that the worldwide iPhone supply “will be temporarily constrained” because of the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic.

With help from the local authorities, Foxconn”s Zhengzhou production base, which had only 1,800 employees left behind during the Spring Festival at the end of January, now has around 80,000 people on post, approaching the employment level in the same period in previous years.

Wang Jiyue, an official with the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone, said that the local government has sent buses to bring workers back to the factory, with strict disinfection and quarantine measures taken to ensure the health of employees.

From the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone, more than 800 million Apple mobile phones were shipped out for global deliveries in the past 10 years. In 2019, nearly half of Apple”s mobile phone production came from the zone.

“I decided to return to work as soon as I received the company”s letter, as it promised to offer a bonus of 3,000 yuan (431 U.S. dollars) for anyone who could get back to work before the end of February,” said Foxconn employee Li Hong”en from Changzhi, northern China”s Shanxi province.

After arriving at the factory, he was quarantined in his one-bedroom dormitory for 14 days before resuming his position on the production line.

In addition to drumming up production, manufacturers in the airport economy zone are helping each other to catch up on orders.

Peng Jinhai, who is with the Zhengzhou Branch of the Lianchuang Electronic Component (Group) Co. Ltd., said that the company has received OEM orders transferred from other companies.

The company kept sufficient production material in stock before the Spring Festival, enabling it to resume production two weeks earlier than other companies.

All workers at the production lines are wearing masks. In the canteen, each worker takes one table when dining.

“The epidemic will affect our production in the first quarter, but the impact on annual production will be limited,” said Peng.

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