© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Foxconn logo is pictured above the company’s building in Taipei, Taiwan October 31, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Apple subsidiary Foxconn expects its COVID-hit Zhengzhou plant in China to resume production by late December to early January, a Foxconn source said on Monday, as labor unrest last month disrupted the world’s largest iPhone factory. .
The Zhengzhou plant has been struggling with strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fueled discontent among workers over factory conditions. Apple’s (NASDAQ:) device production was disrupted ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays in January, with many workers having to self-isolate to fight the spread of the virus or to run away from crops.
Following the November unrest, which saw workers clash with security forces, Foxconn could see more than 30% of its November Zhengzhou production affected, Reuters reported last month citing a source familiar with the matter. Foxconn has not disclosed details of the breakdown of its production plans or finances.
Analysts say Foxconn assembles about 70% of iPhones, and the Zhengzhou plant makes most of its high-end models including the iPhone 14 Pro.
“Power is now slowly being restored” with new crews working, said a person familiar with the matter. The person declined to be named because the information was confidential.
“If the project goes well, it could take three to four weeks to resume operations,” the person said, pointing to a time frame of late December to early January.
Foxconn and the government are working hard on the recruitment process but many uncertainties remain, according to the source. The person cited the “fear” some may have about working at the company after the building was hit by protests last month that sometimes turned violent.
“We’re firing on all cylinders recruiting,” the person said.
Foxconn declined to comment.
A second Foxconn source familiar with the matter said the company hopes to resume production “soon” but could not provide a timeline.
“Things have stabilized,” the person said, referring to the protests and the government’s easing of COVID restrictions. “The local government is very supportive of the recovery.”
Foxconn plans to release November earnings after the market closes on Monday.
The Taiwanese company said last month it expected a modest fourth-quarter decline in its consumer electronics business, which includes mobile phones, as well as strong growth in cloud and network products.
Foxconn shares were up 0.5% by midday Monday, in line with the broader market.