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Apple supplier grapples with Covid flare-up in iPhone City

Foxconn sees a “small number” of Covid cases on its main campus in China as the world’s largest maker of iPhones wants to maintain production.

Foxconn Technology Group is seeing a “small number” of Covid cases on its main campus in China as the world’s largest iPhone maker strives to maintain production amid tougher restrictions in one of the country’s largest cities.

Foxconn is assisting a “small number of workers affected by Covid” at its plant in Zhengzhou, the Taiwanese company said in a statement. The company, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., provides supplies and advice to workers, it added.

Foxconn, which owns the majority of Apple Inc.’s iPhones. in Zhengzhou, earlier this month had closed cafeterias and imposed other restrictions on workers at the facility. The company responded to a virus flare-up in the central Chinese city.

Zhengzhou reported 23 new local infections on Tuesday. The capital of Henan province shut down one of its most populous districts, Zhongyuan, from Oct. 16, and the city shut down non-essential businesses and schools the following day. Other districts have also issued stay-at-home orders, effectively shutting down most of the city in the past week. But according to social media reports, officials have not made a formal announcement, leading to confusion among residents.

Neighborhoods that have reported no cases in the past seven days will be allowed to resume normal life, and Covid thresholds will be adjusted by district, the Zhengzhou government said in a statement on Monday. But many parts of the city remain locked. The Airport Economy Zone, where Foxconn’s factory is located, said areas with no Covid cases in the past week could resume normal life, but non-essential businesses and schools will remain closed.

Virus restrictions in Zhengzhou and other parts of China show no signs of a shift from Covid Zero, something the public and investors had hoped for after the Communist Party Congress, where President Xi Jinping secured a third term in office. Xi defended the policy in a speech that kicked off the October 16 political rally, saying it saved lives but avoided acknowledging the social and economic costs.

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