Foxconn has stopped “almost all” of its production in China until February 10th at the earliest due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to both Reuters and Bloomberg. A lengthy stoppage could substantially disrupt Foxconn clients, the most visible being Apple, from shipping devices to customers.
Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors that the company’s revenue projections for the upcoming quarter reflected a delay in reopening production facilities. Apple also closed its stores and offices through February 9th. Half of the world’s iPhones are said to be made at Foxconn’s “iPhone City” in Zhengzhou, China, where as many as 350,000 people work side-by-side to assemble Apple’s most profitable product. Nearly all of the world’s iPhones are made in China, most by Foxconn, some by Pegatron.
350,000 people working side-by-side
China had extended the Lunar New Year holiday in much of the country with factories expected to reopen on February 3rd. That date was extended until February 10th on Monday. Manufacturers’ ability to reopen their factories is dependent upon approval from central and provincial governments.
The coronavirus outbreak was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization, and threatens to upend the global supply chain, already in turmoil after the US vs. China trade war. The virus has infected more than 20,000 people, 400 of whom have died.