A staff member wearing personal protective equipment disinfects a Foxconn factory at Industrial Park on Nov. 6, 2022 in Zhengzhou, China.
Visual China Group | Getty Images
Foxconn’s Covid-hit iPhone plant in China’s Zhengzhou city is almost back to full production, with its December shipments reaching about 90% of initial plans, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Foxconn, formally Hon Hai Precision Industry, declined to comment.
Production at the world’s largest manufacturing facility of Apple’s iPhones was heavily affected late last year after a Covid-19 outbreak and curbs taken to control the virus prompted thousands of workers to leave. It was also hit by a bout of worker unrest over payment issues.
Foxconn has been offering bonuses to attract new workers and convince those still there to stay on. A company source told Reuters last month that it was aiming for the plant to resume full production around late December to early January.
“Production has almost fully resumed,” said one of the people on Tuesday, who declined to be identified as the information was private.
The second person said production was nearly back to normal but that company officials remained cautious over the outlook due to a spike of Covid-19 cases across China.
“We expect a peak for cases before or after the Lunar New Year holiday,” the person said, referring to the week-long break that starts on Jan 21. “We don’t know if that will cause any issues.”
On Saturday, the government-owned broadcaster of Henan province, where the plant is located, quoted an executive from the factory as saying that the plant’s workforce was currently stable at 200,000 staff and that it had also stabilized its supply chain, enabling production capacity to recover.
The plant is able to accommodate as many as 300,000 workers.
The Zhengzhou plant’s troubles highlighted the difficulties companies and workers had in adhering to China’s zero-Covid-19 policy.
The central government in early December, after Foxconn’s woes and a string of protests over the policy, abruptly dropped the policy to adopt a strategy of living with the virus. The move was greeted by widespread relief but has also precipitated a wave of infections across the country.