Apple MacBook assembler joins 30+ plant closures due to China’s draconian COVID restrictions

In more bad news for an already fragile global tech supply chain, more than 30 Taiwanese companies including Pegatron and MacBook assembler Quanta Computer have now halted production in the electronics hubs of eastern China to comply with the Chinese Communist Party’s draconian and quixotic COVID restrictions.

16-inch MacBook Pro teardown (photo: iFixit)
16-inch MacBook Pro teardown (photo: iFixit)

Debby Wu for Bloomberg News:

On Wednesday, Quanta said it was suspending a Shanghai plant to comply with government restrictions. At least 30 other companies are suspending output in nearby Kunshan until April 19, they said in filings to Taiwan’s stock exchange. Some said the effect on their finances is still unknown, while others expect no major impact. Kunshan, a bustling city that hosts Apple Inc. suppliers including Pegatron and Luxshare Precision Industry Co., began a city-wide lockdown in early April.

The companies make parts for consumer electronics products ranging from PCs and smartphones, with many of the components critical for their global customers. The global supply of key tech has already been hobbled by China’s zero tolerance toward the virus and its measures to stamp it out in cities such as Shanghai and Kunshan.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote just yesterday, the CCP is currently committing atrocities in Shanghai – starving and imprisoning people; mass killing of people’s pets – and Apple’s CEO, who is often rather vociferous on Twitter about all sorts of issues, whether he understands them fully or not at all, has yet to utter a single peep.

Nor, we bet, will Cook ever utter a peep over these actual atrocities.

This comes after years of the CCP committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and torture of Uyghurs and members of other minorities in the Xinjiang region.

Is this CCP crackdown in Shanghai really about COVID or it is actually about something else, such as, oh, perhaps the imposition of control and the message it sends to Chinese citizens?

This current Pegatron issue (minor, but indicative) is what happens when you shortsightedly paint yourself and the company you purport to lead into a corner then fail to realize and correct your mistake in a timely manner.

Widespread Chinese lockdowns have begun to exact an unquantifiable toll on the world’s No. 2 economy, the biggest buyer of semiconductors and the largest producer of electronics from iPhones to PCs.

Disruptions to local manufacturing are set to worsen the logistics hurdles of global companies already grappling with a shortage of cargo capacity that’s pushed shipping costs to record highs and a prolonged chip crunch.

Local officials on Wednesday placed two Kunshan districts with significant electronics manufacturing into lockdown for an indefinite period, while for certain other districts the lockdown was extended by seven days.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote just last week:

Clearly, Apple under Tim Cook had, has, and, for the foreseeable future, seems like it will continue to have far too much exposure to China and the CCP’s overbearing and often irrational whims.

Memo to China: There’s no such thing as zero-COVID. Duh.

As we’ve said for years now, for better and worse, Apple is wedded to China. It will take many years to even begin to extricate itself from this relationship, at least the the point where the company has some meaningful leverage that the CCP understands.

This situation has been building for years and, for the foreseeable future, will continue to get worse for Apple, not better.

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13 Comments

  1. We hear a lot of sanctimonious pontification from Apple CEO Twaddle Cook about all manner of subjects, when it’s easy and safe for him to do so, of course.

    Twaddle’s very brave that way. Plus, it’s a great way to collect awards from gullible morons.

    Having long ago shackled Apple to China in his endless quest of the almighty buck, content to suck off the CCP teat, you won’t hear a bleat about the following from Apple’s Chief Sheep:

      1. Have you purchased anything made in China? You’re an enabler.

        After you’re done throwing around meaningless labels, let’s focus on doing better at things you can control. Whining serves nobody.

        1. Cut the “enabler” crap, it’s not the customer’s FAULT! It’s not like we have a choice where Apple products are made and can choose better countries. Get a grip, Apple APOLOGIST.

          Let’s focus on Cook’s epic mistake in China and move 100% manufacturing to friendly free societies and greener nations…

          1. “… friendly free societies and greener nations…” says the curmudgeonly climate change denier who consistently attacks every environmentally valid argument with anti science, lies and alternative facts.
            I see your hero Musk has bid $41B for twitter. Great, that should kill it off for everyone’s benefit

      2. I bought a G3 Power Mac back in the late 1990’s. It was assembled in China. I don’t recall anyone demanding Steve Jobs’ head for outsourcing then.

        In the last 5 years Musk went full bore to China, enjoying special incentives to build a Shanghai factory in 2018. Musk publicly declared he “loved” China. https://cleantechnica.com/2021/02/19/teslas-complicated-unusual-history-in-china/

        While tweeting mean things about foreign leaders all over Asia, Trump held special meetings for his advisers, ie children, to be fast-tracked for several copyrights in China so he and Ivanka could continue profiting from their own outsourcing deals. His flip flopping on threatened sanctions evaporated when he and Xi met, and the USA continues to suffer from supply disruptions.

        But if you listen to Tucker and Orangetard all day long, only bad people from the other side of the aisle have business with Chyyynna

        Maybe in a perfect world all labor and raw materials would be managed under democratic regimes. But if we have a functioning democracy, by definition that requires two or more viable political choices for citizens to choose from. The few trumpets dominating the discussions on this site don’t understand this. But then, they only do what they are told to do. #trumptardpropagandasite

  2. Perhaps Mr. Cook will come out like Disney’s pedophile CEO on their censorship of films to appease the Chinese CCP ‘culture’ out of respect for ‘different’ global norms and say we’re getting the full experience of Apple’s ecosystem so shut up and be happy.

    We Apple ‘consumers’ are just as complicit for buying their slave-labor products as those customers purchasing Disney’s pedophilia branded content…aren’t we?

    I would have left Apple products behind long ago for their price-gouging but where would I go? The much worse MS and protestant PC open source junk?

    Sometimes I feel like I got punked (in the more vulgar meaning of the word) by an elephant for going Apple in 1988… Should’ve stayed with Coleco’s Adam…oh, wait…

  3. Speaking of no peeps out of Apple’s CEO, what about Apple’s (and the great to be mentioned in the same sentence; Google) heeding to DoJ’s “request” for info on those reporting (sources) on Biden daughter’s diary? First, what a tragedy for the woman who lost tabs on her diary, but it’s a scary tragedy when a “law & order” Dept of the Federal Govt deems proper to demand info that infringes on a citizen’s rights…and Apple complies.
    Remember the big hulaballu related to the Riverside, CA shooter’s iPh many years ago. Apple was showing the World how resistant they would be to govt’s “need” for info to keep us safe. Now…pffft.

    Apple is showing itself to be a friendlier wolf than Google, but is still in wolves clothing and, apparently getting more wolf’y. Wasn’t Mr. Cook planning to speak soon as some privacy conference. Wtf is privacy?

  4. Interesting trend, one super pooper committing atrocities on it’s own citizens, another super pooper committing atrocities on their neighbours, still another one enjoys going around the world to commit atrocities on others.

    I guess bullies will bully all of the time, thank goodness folks like Zelensky are willing to make a stand.

    Apple, try to diversify. If you have to deal with super poopers try iNDIA, two nuclear super pooper neighbours at odds with each other is sure to make great entertainment.

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