Foxconn Abruptly Halts Hiring at iPhone Factory Amid New Lockdown and iPhone 14 Delay Concerns
Roughly 24 hours after saying it would ramp up hiring and incentives for new employees, Foxconn, Apple's main iPhone supplier, said today it would abruptly stop hiring new workers for its plant in Zhengzhou, China, after new COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions were imposed on the city of nearly 11 million residents.
Just yesterday, Foxconn was signaling it wanted to hire more workers to meet increased consumer demand, on top of additional demand caused by supply chain constraints for the upcoming iPhone 14 series. Now, South China Morning Post reports that Foxconn has suspended hiring of new workers, saying it could "complicate" production for the iPhone 14 lineup slated to launch in the fall.
The suspension came on the heels of the Taiwanese company's plans earlier this week to boost recruitment by offering higher cash bonuses, the agencies said in posts on Tencent Holdings platform WeChat and ByteDance-owned Douyin, the Chinese version of global hit short video app TikTok.
The move to suspend the hiring of new assembly line workers could complicate the iPhone 14 production schedule of Foxconn, which has run its smartphone and components production in Zhengzhou under a “closed-loop” system that confines employees within its campus.
So far, Apple is not expected to drastically delay the launch of the iPhone 14 series, as it did for the iPhone 12. Unlike the normal timetable, Apple was forced to delay the launch of the iPhone 12 till October 2020, rather than September. DigiTimes has speculated that Apple's supply chain woes could result in a similar scenario this year.
Some parts of Apple's supply chain are on the mend, however. Quanta, Apple's supplier for the MacBook Pro, this week resumed production at its plant in China following some disruptions caused by new lockdowns and restrictions. During its earnings call last week, Apple said it expects supply chain constraints to continue into the next quarter. Tim Cook said that Apple has done a "reasonable job" navigating the supply chain roadblocks.
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