Half of Apple’s suppliers at risk in China due to quixotic ‘zero-COVID’ lockdown quest

Half of Apple’s 200 top suppliers have facilities in and around Shanghai, China where the Chinese Communist Party’s quixotic quest for “zero-COVID” has caused extensive and extended lockdowns and other restrictions are disrupting many business activities.

Half of Apple's suppliers at risk in China due to quixotic 'Zero-COVID' lockdown quest

Lauly Li, Cheng Ting-Fang, and Shunsuke Tabeta for Nikkei Asia:

More than 70 companies own manufacturing plants in Jiangsu Province that directly supply the U.S. tech giant, according to an analysis of Apple’s latest available Supplier List. The majority of these are in Kunshan and Suzhou, the two cities near Shanghai. A further 30 or so Apple suppliers have facilities in Shanghai itself, the latest epicenter of the COVID-19 surge in China.

These suppliers run the gamut from major iPhone assembler Pegatron and iPad maker Compal Electronics to makers of components such as displays, printed circuit boards, thermal parts, batteries and acoustic components.

Most of these suppliers, moreover, serve not only Apple but also global and domestic tech giants from Google, Microsoft and Intel to Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo.

Foreign and domestic businesses have warned that the prolonged lockdowns could put China’s economic growth at risk and deal a huge blow to the automobile and tech industries…

China is officially committed to a “zero-COVID” policy, and many suppliers with production facilities in the region are worried it will take months for normal operations to resume.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote over 16 months ago (aging like a fine wine):

In general, human-transmissible coronaviruses do not disappear. There is no such thing as zero-COVID.

COVID-19 is here to stay. It will very likely become endemic, yet pose less danger over time. People will acquire immunity via vaccines (effectiveness TDB) and naturally as they contract and recover from variants like omicron since the partially-effective vaccines permit not only transmissibility, but also breakthrough infections. Influenza and the four human coronaviruses that cause common colds (OC43, 229E, NL63 and HKU1) are, of course, also endemic, but a combination of annual flu vaccines and acquired immunity means that sane societies tolerate the unavoidable seasonal deaths and illnesses they bring without requiring lockdowns, masks, social distancing, indefinite return-to-work delays, etc.

At which point, if ever, will some people decide that wasting away their short lives in abject fear of a bad flu, very likely engineered by China and partially funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, is a hysterical self-defeating overreaction?MacDailyNews, December 16, 2021

More fine wine:

The real virus is the panic.MacDailyNews, March 9, 2020

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8 Comments

  1. Fear, paranoia, anger – this is life under China’s zero-Covid strategy

    When cases grew in Shanghai, I was hopeful. I thought there would be no way Shanghai would be like Jilin and Changshun, smaller cities that had recently locked down millions of people to contain Covid outbreaks. I assumed that the government would finally have to relax its kneejerk “zero Covid” approach. I could not have been more wrong. Restrictions throughout China have become more draconian.

    We call this the Shanghai effect. After 24 million people became locked down here, everything was amped up elsewhere too. I live in a smaller city near Shanghai, and life has changed significantly in the last few months, our movements increasingly restricted…

    If there is one case in your district, thousands of people are locked down and millions tested repeatedly. Daily cases are rarely in double figures in the city where I live. But half the people I know are still in government quarantine without even having tested positive. You have to quarantine as a secondary contact, or if you previously visited what the government calls a “restricted area”. A family nearby have been locked down for two weeks after visiting a local park that subsequently became a restricted zone. They didn’t even see anyone in the park.

    Stories such as theirs are common. All it takes is one person in your apartment building to test positive, and every resident, plus their close contacts, also have to quarantine. This is the extent of the fear. And rules combined with fear discourage people from living a normal life. Every time you go outside, you think: will this be it? Is this the trip to the wrong supermarket that lands us all in quarantine?

    Things could be worse, though. Most university students have been held on campuses since last October. Some have attempted to scale the walls; some have taken to social media threatening to hurt themselves and others. It’s creating a mental health timebomb.

    Government data shows that our city is low risk. But this categorisation means nothing. As in Shanghai, most residents are unable to leave their building, compound or area code. Queueing up for daily Covid tests has become mandatory in most areas. A test taken within 48 hours is required to enter supermarkets. Rules change suddenly, and new complexities are frequently added.

    Schools here closed not because Covid cases appeared, but because authorities feared they might. Recently a child arrived at school with a red code, meaning they had crossed a restricted zone, and was taken away in a government vehicle. Everyone was told to remain calm: the child had not breached the school gates. Far from reducing panic, all everyone could think was: what if my child is next? The school closed shortly after.

    The graphic video of a health worker killing a corgi in Shanghai – apparently for fear it could spread the virus from its infected owner – made international headlines. But similar situations have happened across China over the past few months. Everyone has a group of neighbours primed to grab their pets if quarantine calls. Although I still walk my dog, we bought packed grass for an indoor dog toilet if we get fully locked down. Fitting the grass and wiping dog excrement off it was one of those surreal Covid moments we thought had been consigned to the dark days of 2020.

    Those of us now in disbelief at the harshness and scale of the government response are suffering from collective cognitive dissonance. Policies here have always prioritised fighting the virus over individual needs… [But]. the virus was more deadly in 2020 and we knew little about it. Much has changed in the subsequent two years. We have a vaccine, and are better at treating the virus. Omicron is less deadly than the initial variant. Yet the government’s response is still the same.

    Fighting the virus has metamorphosed from being driven by the preservation of life to the preservation of image.

    Mary Adams, The Guardian, April 19, 2022

  2. 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:

  3. Apple, if it has not sunk in by now into multiple thick skulls and greedy board members — please move 100% of your operations out of China post haste! Close the damn stores you make enough money!

    This will NOT STOP and only continue with iron fisted Communist leader for life and oppressive government officials minions that enslaves its own people and ZERO respect for human rights.

    Tim, preacher of human rights and values in the USA and no where else, its time to strap up the big boy pants and do the right thing!

    Sorry to say more and more — I’m ASHAMED my iPhone SE was made in China!!!…

    1. To which country or countries should Apple move? Which country or countries have spent the last 40 to 50 years nurturing and developing the complex (and expensive) infrastructure (roads, cities, rail systems, ports, airports) needed to support the fast, nimble, massive and CHEAP combination of manufacturing and assembly? Uhhh… China. And this started before Tim graduated from high school. China ain’t his fault.

      India and a few other Southeast Asian countries have just begun to dip their toes into the tech water. Maybe India has a chance, but it will be another 30 to 40 years before they are at a scale to come even close to China.

      So, in the meantime, let’s all get used to ‘Made in China’. Oops, WE are already used to it. We all paid for it!

        1. Let’s all keep waiting for GoeB to offer some practical alternatives to China. Waiting… It is easy to bash Tim for not diversifying enough, but not so easy to find a solution. Still waiting… Saying that China is WAY ahead of the game in manufacturing, assembly and infrastructure by about 40 years is being and Apple Apologist? Waiting… waiting…

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