World’s largest iPhone assembly plant under new Covid lockdown in China

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An industrial park in China that is home to the world’s largest assembly plant for Apple’s iPhones has been ordered to complete a seven-day Covid lockdown, according to a report by Reuters.

The lockdown comes as Apple works to meet the demand for some of its new iPhones, which launched in September. Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking to CNBC on Thursday about the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, said that the company’s high-end iPhone 14 Pro phones remain supply constrained.

The Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone, located in central China’s Henan province, is imposing “silent management measures,” the report said. Residents are not allowed to go out and only approved vehicles are allowed on the road until the restrictions ease Nov. 9.

Shares of Apple were down around 1% in Wednesday morning trading.

The factory in Zhengzhou is owned by Foxconn, Apple’s largest iPhone supplier. Last week, Foxconn said its Zhengzhou plant was hit with a small Covid outbreak.

A spokesperson for the Taiwanese firm, officially known as Hon Hai Technology Group, told CNBC that operation and production at its Zhengzhou facility are “relatively stable with health and safety measures for employees being maintained.”

An Apple representative did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Zhengzhou has been battling a new wave of Covid. The city has locked down some districts as China pushes ahead with its zero-Covid policy, using testing and lockdowns to try and tackle the virus.

The lockdown marks a retightening of measures in the region after Zhengzhou unexpectedly lifted some restrictions on Tuesday, the report said. The city reported 358 Covid cases on Tuesday, up from 95 on Monday.

Earlier this month, Foxconn implemented virus prevention measures such as requiring employees to have a Covid test within 24 hours of them entering the Zhengzhou premises and urged them to get vaccinated.

Apple still relies heavily on China for the majority of its iPhone production, but the tech giant has been diversifying its supply chain.

The company announced in September that it is assembling its flagship iPhone 14 in India in an attempt to shift some production away from China, for example.

 

CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal 

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