Reuters reports that Apple's main iPhone assembler Foxconn aims to reopen half of its manufacturing facilities in China by the end of February. The move would allow production lines to be phased back into action following the extensive lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Taiwan's Foxconn hopes to resume half of its production in China by month-end, a source told Reuters on Wednesday, as the supplier to tech giant Apple and others reopens plants shut over a coronavirus outbreak.
The world's largest contract electronics maker also aims to resume 80 percent of production in China in March, added the source, who has direct knowledge of the matter, citing internal targets set by Chairman Liu Young-Way.
Foxconn was originally planning to reopen its factories on February 10 to begin production on Apple devices after the Lunar New Year holiday, but the company's plans were put on hold due to the ongoing viral outbreak while facility inspections were performed. Local governments are concerned the virus will spread quickly in a labor-intensive working environment.
Foxconn this week got the go-ahead to reopen some major plants in China, and its plant in the eastern city of Kunshan was also approved on Tuesday to resume production. However, only around one tenth of the workforce had returned to two key plants in southern Shenzhen and central Zhengzhou as of Monday, a source told Reuters.
Apple has also extended the shutdown of its own retail stores in China. Stores were supposed to open on Monday, but Apple has decided to wait until February 15.
Apple typically sources components from multiple suppliers, mainly to diversify local production risks, and Apple is mulling shifting more assembly orders for its new models slated for launch in the first half of 2020 to factories in Taiwan, according to DigiTimes.