China government blocks restart of Foxconn plants due to coronavirus

Apple iPhone assembler Foxconn’s plan to restart production on February 10th has been blocked by the government in China due to worries surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned.

China blocks Foxconn restartLauly Li, Coco Liu and Cheng Ting-Fang report for Nikkei Asian Review:

Public health experts in Shenzhen informed Foxconn, which trades as Hon Hai Precision Industry, that its factories there face “high risks of coronavirus infection” after conducting on-site inspections and therefore are not suitable to restart work, four people familiar with the matter told Nikkei.

Foxconn’s Zhengzhou complex, which is the world’s biggest iPhone production base, also canceled plans to resume work on Monday, they said… Foxconn’s display arm, Innolux, which has facilities in Shenzhen, on Friday published a note to employees advising them not to come back to its Longhua complex on Monday, according to a separate internal announcement seen by the Nikkei.

“The government has been extremely strict this time,” said a Shenzhen-based Apple supplier who works closely with Foxconn.

MacDailyNews Note: Here’s the full email sent on Friday to Apple employees from Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People:


I want to thank every one of you for the care, flexibility and spirit you have shown over the past few weeks. Around the world, the entire Apple family stands committed to helping our colleagues, communities, suppliers, partners and customers in China as they care for their health and return to daily life. Apple’s support for the global coronavirus response is broad and ongoing, including our donation to the public health effort.

Since my last note, we have been in constant consultation with public health experts, government authorities and our teams and leaders in China. In light of those conversations, I want to share new information about Apple’s workplaces.

We are working toward reopening Apple’s Corporate Offices and Contact Centers in China next week. We recognize that personal movement and travel restrictions are ongoing and schools are closed in many places, and managers will be working with their teams to offer additional support. You will receive a follow up communication shortly with more information.

Apple’s Retail Stores are actively working to reopen at a date that will be determined next week. Additional cleaning, health protocols and local restrictions around public spaces will factor into this decision. Retail teams will receive updates from their managers on the opening date for their store and on other supportive steps we are taking.

Individual business leaders will be reaching out to you soon with more information relevant to your work. In addition to your manager, your People Business Partner and People Support are your resource for any questions you may have. To stay up to date with Apple’s efforts, please continue to check the dedicated coronavirus page we’ve created on the People site.

As we work together to gradually resume work over the next few weeks, your well-being is our first priority. We are deeply grateful to everyone for facing this challenging period with the utmost empathy and understanding.


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