Apple supplier Foxconn shuts down Shanghai factories - but there's actually good news

Taiwanese electronics company and major Apple supplier Foxconn is going to be shutting down two of its factories in the city of Kushan, China, as COVID-19 cases surge in the area. 

According to the South China Morning Post, the factories are near Shanghai, and to prevent COVID spillover, the city of Kushan enacted a citywide lockdown to prevent further contamination. On the surface, this appears to be a major blow for Apple, but Foxconn reassures it has things covered.

Another COVID shutdown

According to another report by Reuters, a spokesperson for Foxconn stated that production has moved over to other factories and plenty of Apple products are housed in overseas warehouses. So, the overall impact on both Apple and Foxconn will be minimal, at best.

The same can’t be said for Foxconn’s other production lines. Manufacturing for data transmission equipment and connectors will stay on hold until Chinese authorities give them the green light to start again.

Despite Foxconn’s reassurance, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Back in March 2022, a COVID-19 outbreak in the city of Shenzhen caused all production in the area to shut down.

This included Foxconn’s Longhua and Guanlan factories where they manufactured products for various tech giants like Apple and Samsung. Incidents like these have been occurring almost routinely during the pandemic, such as the May 2021 shutdown.

We reached out to Apple for comment on the sudden shutdown and how it will impact future products and will update this story when and if it responds.

Migrating production

Foxconn has been making moves recently to shift iPhone production away from the Chinese mainland.

iPad and MacBook production moved over to Vietnam back in 2020 after Apple specifically requested it due to the US-China trade war. More recently, Foxconn’s factory in Sriperumbudur, India, is going to start pumping out iPhone 13 devices after getting government clearance.

The future looks bright for Apple and Foxconn, but the former employees may be left holding the short end of the stick. For starters, Foxconn shut down the factories even though the local government gave 60 companies permission to reopen production lines.

The employees have also been under a “closed-loop system” meaning they’ve been confined to their dormitories inside the two Foxconn campuses by order of the authorities.

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