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Taiwan's Foxconn shuts iPhone factories in Shenzhen amid China COVID surge

Closed Foxconn factories in Shenzhen had been producing iPhone 13

Employees work assembly line in Shenzhen, China. (Reuters photo)

Employees work assembly line in Shenzhen, China. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foxconn, a major supplier of Apple products, has shut down two of its factories in Shenzhen, and over 30 other Taiwanese companies have announced plant closures in the city amid the largest surge of COVID cases in China in two years.

Since Feb. 28, China has reported 6,682 COVID cases, which are primarily believed to be caused by the Omicron variant, with Shenzhen reporting more than 400 cases during that period. On Sunday (March 13), China's National Health Commission reported 3,122 cases across China, a rapid increase from the 1,100 reported on Friday (March 11) and 1,524 on Saturday (March 12).

On Sunday, Chinese state-run media outlet CCTV News reported 75 symptomatic COVID cases and 11 asymptomatic cases in Shenzhen. The government announced that 17.5 million residents of Shenzhen would be placed under lockdown, with all public transportation and nonessential businesses to be closed from Monday (March 14) to March 20.

CNA cited Foxconn as announcing Monday (March 14) that in cooperation with the local government's epidemic prevention measures, it is temporarily suspending operations at its Longhua and Guanlan Technology Parks, with the date of resumption to be determined by local officials. Those two Shenzhen factories are major producers of Apple iPhones, with employees producing the new iPhone 13, reported the Financial Times.

Foxconn stressed that because it has many other factories capable of carrying out the same work, production can be shifted to those facilities to reduce the impact on overall operations. The company stated that all employees in the affected factories are undergoing nucleic acid testing and other epidemic prevention measures to ensure their health and safety.

Over 30 Taiwanese firms, which manufacture a wide array of technology products, have announced they are halting operations in Shenzhen. The majority stated that they will remain closed until March 20, subject to further notice by government officials.