Apple Supplier Grapples with Covid Flare-Up in iPhone City
Foxconn Technology Group is seeing a “small number” of Covid cases at its main campus in China, as the world's biggest maker of iPhones aims to maintain production amid tightening restrictions in one of the country's largest cities.
Foxconn is assisting a ”small number of employees affected by Covid” in its Zhengzhou facility, the Taiwanese company said in a statement. The firm, known also as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is providing the workers with necessities and counseling, it added.
Foxconn, which assembles the majority of Apple Inc.'s iPhones from Zhengzhou, had shut cafeterias and imposed other curbs on workers at the facility earlier this month. The company was responding to a virus flareup in the central Chinese city.
Zhengzhou reported 23 new local infections for Tuesday. The capital of Henan province locked down one of its most populated districts, Zhongyuan, from Oct. 16, and the city shut non-essential businesses and schools the next day. Other districts also issued stay-at-home orders, with most of the city in effect locking down in the past week. But officials didn't issue a formal announcement, spurring confusion among residents, according to social media posts.
Neighborhoods that haven't reported cases for the past seven days have been allowed to resume normal life, and Covid curbs will be adjusted on a district by district basis, the Zhengzhou government said in a statement Monday. But many parts of the city remain in lockdown. The Airport Economy Zone, where Foxconn's plant is located, said areas with no Covid cases in the past week can resume normal life, but non-essential business and schools continue to be shut.
Virus restrictions seen in Zhengzhou and other parts of China show no sign of a shift from Covid Zero, something the public and investors had hoped for after the Communist Party congress, where President Xi Jinping secured a third term in power. Xi defended the policy in a speech kicking off the political gathering on Oct. 16, saying it has saved lives, but he avoided acknowledging the social and economic costs.