Foxconn Warns Staff to Keep Away From Shenzhen iPhone Plant as Virus Prevention Efforts Continue

Apple's main iPhone assembler Foxconn has told employees not to return to work at its Shenzhen facility in China when the extended Lunar New Year break ends on February 10, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg.

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"To safeguard everyone's health and safety and comply with government virus prevention measures, we urge you not to return to Shenzhen," Foxconn wrote in a text message sent to employees. "We'll update you on the situation in the city. The company will protect everyone's work-related rights and interests in the duration. As for the happy reunion date in Shenzhen, please wait for further notice."

Foxconn has reportedly halted almost all of its production in China as the government and businesses attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the country, where more than 31,000 cases have been reported so far.

It's unclear whether the Shenzhen policy extends to all employees or to Foxconn's other facilities. Earlier this week, the ‌iPhone‌ manufacturer said it planned to resume full-scale production by February 10. Other Apple suppliers such as Quanta Computer, Inventec and LG Display also said they would go back to work next week in China, but sticking to that plan seems less certain by the day.

"As a matter of policy and for reasons of commercial sensitivity, we do not comment on our specific production facilities," Foxconn told Bloomberg. "We have been closely monitoring the current public health challenge linked to the coronavirus and we are applying all recommended health and hygiene practices to all aspects of our operations in the affected markets."

Foxconn has slashed its 2020 revenue outlook after strict quarantines at its main base in China to guard against the coronavirus outbreak. The company has adopted a quarantine policy so that workers returning from outside Henan province will be sequestered for 14 days, while staff who reside within the province will be isolated for one week.

The timing of the coronavirus outbreak could impact supply of the new lower-cost iPhone that Apple is expected to announce in March. Bloomberg recently reported that production of the device was slated to begin in February, but the coronavirus outbreak could delay that timeframe.

Apple typically sources components from multiple suppliers, and Foxconn has factories outside of China, so it's likely that Apple will still release the lower-cost ‌iPhone‌ in March, even if supply is limited at launch.

Top Rated Comments

efktd Avatar
35 months ago
My buddy is in Shenzhen at this time; he shared these photos to show the ghost town that it is right now...

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Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smirking Avatar
35 months ago
To everyone who wants to pan all of this off as hysteria, don't pay attention to what leaders are saying. Pay attention to what they're doing and what they're doing in China and elsewhere suggests that this is not a drill. Nobody is going to take drastic measures like the one's we're seeing if they think they're just dealing with something that's less lethal than traffic accidents or the seasonal flu.

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter if you believe in the severity of this. It does happen to be a nasty flu season too so wash your hands well with soap, wipe down your phone, and stay home if you're sick so you don't spread whatever it is that you have even if it's only a mild cold.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smirking Avatar
35 months ago

One would think the Chinese government would not want to do so unless it really thought it necessary.
And they surely didn’t decide to build two 1500+ bed “hospitals” working around the clock just because it would be a fun project during the Lunar New Year holiday. That’s sure a pretty extreme statement for a nothing burger.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Queen6 Avatar
35 months ago

How was your buddy allowed to be outside and film this, while there is not a soul in the streets? Is he a high-ranking police officer?
The city isn't quarantined, therefore people are free to travel, equally the vast majority are avoiding public places, with many still away in the interior for the Lunar New Year festivities. Personally I'm from the west and China is very far from what many peoples perception of the country is.

A lot of what's being done here is recommendation, at the end of the day the virus is highly infectious and it simply makes sense to reduce the risks of it spreading.

Q-6
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PBG4 Dude Avatar
35 months ago
Exactly. China has shut down all public transportation in the affected areas. Driving a personal vehicle without permission is an arrestable offense. All movie theaters in the affected regions were forced closed by the Chinese government. The list goes on and on.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neliason Avatar
35 months ago

Because people and governments never overreact or make irrational decisions. Remember this is all precaution because the scientific community still don’t know some unknowns about 2019-nCoV, this makes them uneasy unlike the flu where humans have lived with since the beginning of time and we know a lot about it.
This could be overreaction, but keep in mind people and especially governments lie. They tend to deny reality until it is impossible to continue to do so. It is hard to know what the truth is in all this. But, shutting down commerce is a big deal. If these shutdowns continue this will be a big deal. One would think the Chinese government would not want to do so unless it really thought it necessary.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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