Foxconn says it’ll resume normal production in China by the end of March and that half of its seasonal workers are now back at work, according to Reuters. Foxconn, the primary iPhone assembler and parts supplier for Apple and others, has had its output curtailed following the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to mandated government shutdowns, many of Foxconn’s seasonal workers had to be quarantined before returning to work after the extended Lunar New Year holiday last month. Foxconn is the world’s largest contract manufacturer.
Foxconn’s optimism is likely pegged to reports that China is seeing a slowdown in new coronavirus cases, even as they accelerated globally. To date, the virus has spread to 70 countries and is responsible for 90,000 infections and 3,000 deaths, mostly in China.
Foxconn’s return to strength could be good news for Apple. iPhone assembly, for example, requires hundreds of thousands of Foxconn workers and mostly takes place at Foxconn’s “iPhone City” factory in Zhengzhou, China. But Foxconn is just part of the massive supply chain anchored in China. Apple for example, has over 200 suppliers, many of whom are based in China or rely upon China for manufacturing or materials.