Foxconn’s China Plant May Resume Full iPhone Production in Early January

Apple supplier Foxconn expects its COVID-hit Zhengzhou plant in China to resume full production in late December to early January, a Foxconn source said on Monday, after labor unrest disrupted the world’s largest iPhone factory. The Zhengzhou factory has been facing strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fueled discontent among workers about factory conditions. The production of the Apple machine was interrupted before the Christmas holidays and the New Year in January, many workers have to isolate themselves to fight the spread of the virus or escape from the plant.

“Power is now slowly being restored” as new staff are hired, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The person declined to be named as the information was confidential.

“If hiring goes well, it could take three to four weeks to resume production,” the person said, pointing to late December to early January.

Foxconn and the local government are working hard on the recruitment drive but there are still many uncertainties, according to the source. The person mentioned the “fear” some employees may have about working for the company after the facility was hit by protests last month that sometimes turned violent.

Labor unrest at a Zhengzhou factory last month marked a rare scene of dissent in China where workers said they were fueled by long-term pay claims and frustration over strict COVID-19 restrictions.

The unrest comes at a time when China is slashing the number of COVID-19 infections and facing lockdowns that have fueled frustration among citizens across the country.

“We are firing on all cylinders for recruitment,” said the person.

Foxconn declined to comment.

Foxconn shares rose 0.5 percent on Monday morning, in line with a 0.6 percent rise in the broader market.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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