Foxconn, HTC adopt remote working as Taiwan COVID outbreak intensifies

Country’s economic lifeline tech industry scrambling to reduce transmission risks

Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision) plant in New Taipei

Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision) plant in New Taipei (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese tech companies including Foxconn and HTC are taking precautionary measures as the Taoyuan General Hospital coronavirus cluster exacerbates.

Taiwan added two cases associated with the hospital cluster outbreak in the north on Sunday (Jan. 24), bringing the total number of infections from the cluster to 15. Around 5,000 individuals, including discharged patients and carers of hospitalized patients, will be placed under quarantine to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced the same day.

The country’s tech sector has been jolted into action, with electronics manufacturer Foxconn asking employees dwelling in Taoyuan but commuting elsewhere to work from home. The company’s factories have upgraded alert levels by implementing split working and videoconferencing schedules, halting shuttle services, and bolstering disinfection, wrote CNA.

In addition to mandatory telecommuting for its Taoyuan-based workers, consumer electronics company HTC has suspended to-and-fro traffic between plants in the cities of Taoyuan and Hsinchu. Semiconductor assembling and testing services provider ASE Technology Holding Co., which has a plant in Taoyuan, has already restricted visits by clients and suppliers from foreign countries and high-risk areas since earlier this month.

Laptop manufacturer Quanta Computer has introduced the toughest anti-pandemic rules since an employee at a subordinate company was confirmed to have contracted the novel virus at the beginning of the year. It has sealed off public areas, banned customer visits, limited dining space, and advised remote working.

Other tech firms that have ramped up disease prevention include Chunghwa Precision Test Tech, Nan Ya Printed Circuit Board Corporation, Inventec, and Trend Micro.

As of Monday, Taiwan has recorded 889 COVID cases, including 71 domestic cases and seven deaths.

Updated : 2021-03-02 13:37 GMT+08:00