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iPhone production in China hit by COVID-19 restrictions

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Apple warned its customers that they will have to wait longer before they get their hands on the latest iPhone models after COVID-19 restrictions hamper production in China.

Apple’s new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus

Apple's China plant operating at a limited capacity

In a report by BBC, Apple said its assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China, which is the world’s largest iPhone factory, is "operating at significantly reduced capacity."

Chinese authorities locked down the district where the factory operated by Foxconn is located on November 2 for seven days.

As we have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prioritizing the health and safety of the workers in our supply chain, Apple said in a statement.

We continue to see strong demand for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models. However, we now expect lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated and customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products, it added.

Apple launched its latest iPhone series in September. 
iPhone 14 Pro (photo from Apple website)

Foxconn accounts for 70 percent of iPhone shipments globally.

It revised its fourth-quarter outlook due to China's COVID-19 control measures. 

The Taiwan-based company said they are working with the Henan provincial government "to stamp out the pandemic and resume production to its full capacity as quickly as possible".

Beijing is still implementing its "zero COVID" strategy through lockdowns despite its huge economic cost.

The latest data show that the world’s second-largest economy is struggling to cope with the challenges caused by continued COVID-19 restrictions. 

As of Monday, China's imports and exports contracted unexpectedly in October.

Outbound shipments for the month dropped 0.3 percent from last year, contrasting to a 5.7 percent gain in September. It was the worst performance since May 2020.

The country reported 5,643 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, its highest daily tally in six months. 

Zhengzhou, where the Foxconn factory is located, is the capital of Henan province in central China and is home to about 10 million people. It recorded 3,683 cases and 22 deaths on Monday.

Cases were also detected inside the factory, prompting a sudden shutdown that led to workers fleeing the premises. 

Foxconn has started a recruitment drive at its Zhengzhou plant. It offers workers who left the plant between October 10 and November 5 a one-time bonus of 500 yuan (around PHP 4,012) if they return to work.

The company is also offering a pay increase of 30 yuan an hour (around PHP 240), according to a statement posted on its recruitment WeChat account.

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Source: BBC
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