Foxconn's key iPhone plant operating in locked-down China region

The lockdown is part of the government's relentless campaign to eliminate Covid cases around the country. PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (BLOOMBERG) - Foxconn Technology Group's plant in central China, its biggest assembler of iPhones for Apple, continues to operate amid a government Covid-19 lockdown of the area, in line with the authorities' concession to allow key employees to carry on working.

Officials locked down the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone that hosts Foxconn's iPhone City campus last Thursday (April 21) for an indefinite period, according to a government notice viewed by Bloomberg News.

Residents are not allowed to leave their homes unless it is considered necessary during the lockdown, the notice said, but workers for key businesses can commute with permits.

The lockdown is part of the government's relentless campaign to eliminate Covid-19 cases around the country.

"The Zhengzhou campus is still operating normally and the site continues to comply with the government measures to curb the spread of the virus," Foxconn said in a statement on Sunday.

The Zhengzhou airport zone did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside of regular business hours.

Passenger and cargo flights to and from the central Chinese city are operating normally, the Zhengzhou airport said in an announcement on its official WeChat account on Saturday.

Foxconn relies on the airport to ship iPhones internationally.

Apple suppliers in China have been affected to varying degrees by China's pursuit of its zero-Covid-19 policy. The impact has remained limited, given that it is traditionally low season, and demand for consumer electronics is in a trough.

Foxconn's smaller rival Pegatron suspended operations at its iPhone plants in Shanghai and Kunshan.

Apple laptop maker Quanta Computer only recently resumed some production after halting work for a few days in Shanghai.

In mid-April, Zhengzhou locked down areas near Foxconn's iPhone City campus, though the move did not affect the plant.

These disruptions are having an impact on Apple's supply chain and delaying the delivery of popular gadgets to Singapore.

Last week, The Straits Times (ST) reported that the MacBook Air and iPhone 13 were out of stock at some local Apple distributors.

Staff at an iStudio outlet in Jurong told ST that a delay in production of one week in China could lead to a month's delay in Singapore.

Others said the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro have been out of stock for a few weeks to a month, adding that most products have been shipped over in lower quantities.

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