Foxconn Moves Toward Full Production At Major iPhone Factory

Apple supplier Foxconn reportedly believes its huge iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China, should resume full production in late December or early January.

The company is working with government officials in Zhengzhou to fill numerous posts left empy after employees left in October amidst an outbreak of Covid-19 in the area.

Efforts to replenish staff led to protests that turned violent as the new hires said they had been misled about compensation.

A source at Foxconn told Reuters the situation has now stabilised, in part because the Chinese government has begun easing Covid restrictions, the news agency reported on Monday.

Image credit: Foxconn

Recruitment drive

Last month the Chinese government announced a raft of measures loosening its former zero-tolerance approach to Covid, and may announce further measures as early as Wednesday, according to a Monday Reuters report citing unnamed sources.

“If the recruitment goes smoothly, it could take around three to four weeks to resume full production,” the person said, pointing to a the end of December or early January.

The person said the company was “firing on all cylinders” on its recruitment drive.

The Zhengzhou plant produces the majority of Apple’s high-end iPhones, such as the iPhone 14 Pro and Max models, according to analysts, and the disruption has led to the longest wait times for those models in the iPhone’s 15-year history.

‘Under control’

The disruption has led Apple to accelerate its plans to shift some production to India and Vietnam, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Foxconn said on Monday revenue in November fell 11.4 percent year-on-year, reflecting produciton problems at the Zhengzhou plant.

“At present, the overall epidemic situation has been brought under control with November being the most affected period,” the company said in a statement, adding it was recruiting new staff and was gradually “restoring production capacity to normal”.

Foxconn has injected 1 billion yuan (£120m) in fresh capital into a subsidiary in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan as it seeks to diversify its production bases, the company said in a stock exchange filing on Friday.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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