Mehul Reuben DasJan 03, 2023 18:22:22 IST
Apple finally has some good news coming out of China as Foxconn’s COVID-hit iPhone plant in Zhengzhou city, China, is almost back to its full production capacity, and is set to achieve 90 per cent of its initial target for the end of this quarter. Earlier, it was estimated that the facility would be hitting only 80-85 per cent of its target.
Production at the world’s largest manufacturing facility of Apple iPhones was heavily affected late last year after a COVID-19 outbreak and curbs taken to control the virus prompted thousands of workers to leave. Just a few months prior to workers breaking out of the factory, the production facility was also hit by a bout of worker unrest and violent protests over payment issues.
Foxconn has been offering bonuses to attract new workers and convince those still there to stay on. A company source told reporters last month that it was aiming for the plant to resume full production around late December to early January.
Production has almost fully resumed, as of Tuesday. Production was nearly back to normal but company officials remained cautious over the outlook due to a spike of COVID-19 cases across China.
“We expect a peak for cases before or after the Lunar New Year holiday,” a person close to the matter said, referring to the week-long break that starts on Jan 21. “We don’t know if that will cause any issues.”
On Saturday, the government-owned broadcaster of Henan province, where the plant is located, quoted an executive from the factory as saying that the plant’s workforce was currently stable at 200,000 staff and that it had also stabilised its supply chain, enabling production capacity to recover.
The plant is actually able to accommodate as many as 300,000 workers, when working in full capacity. The Zhengzhou plant’s troubles highlighted the difficulties companies and workers had in adhering to China’s zero-COVID-19 policy.
The central government in early December, after Foxconn’s woes and a string of protests over the policy, abruptly dropped the policy to adopt a strategy of living with the virus. The move was greeted by widespread relief but has also precipitated a wave of infections across the country.