Foxconn Refutes Rumors of 20K COVID Cases at Zhengzhou Plant

Foxconn, the Taiwan-based leading iPhone assembler, issued a statement at midday on October 26 saying that “reports of 20,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19 at the Zhengzhou Industrial Park, Henan Province” circulating online were “seriously false information.” The firm told Chinese media that production and operations at the park are relatively stable at present, and that protecting the safety of on-the-job employees has been continuously implemented.

Foxconn has three factories in Zhengzhou, the regional capital of China’s Henan Province. In terms of production capacity layout, the sites also serve as the main manufacturing base for the company to produce iPhones for Apple, with more than 90 production lines and about 300,000 workers. The pandemic outbreak situation at the Zhengzhou base will affect shipments of the iPhone 14.

The recent round of cases in the city has put some areas under lockdown. According to a report by the South China Morning Post on October 21, Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility had been affected and was implementing control policies. According to a notice posted by the factory’s official WeChat account, all employees in the park are prohibited from dining in the canteen, and they are required to bring their meals back to the dormitory. The company will provide employees with three meals free of charge. For workers of the digital products sales department directly responsible for the production of iPhones, the company will provide employees with transportation allowance for commuting between the factory and dormitories. These employees will continue to work every day during the implementation of the new pandemic prevention regulations, and each will receive a 100 yuan ($13.93) daily bonus from October 26.

At the same time, staff at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou base are required to wear N95 masks at all times, except in dormitories, and are also receiving daily nucleic acid tests. Further still, the company has restricted the mobility of employees, requiring them to commute along specific routes and closing some entrances and exits from last week. In another notice, the company called on employees living outside the industrial park to move to dormitories within the park itself.

On October 20, a Foxconn spokesperson told the media, “The production line at Zhengzhou Park is running normally and has not been clearly affected by the pandemic outbreak.” While implementing new pandemic prevention measures, the company is increasing production of the newest iPhone 14 model.

According to the latest financial report released by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., the parent company of Foxconn, in the first three quarters of the year, the firm’s total revenue was $4.66 trillion New Taiwan dollars ($144.8 billion), an increase of 13.66% compared with last year and a new high for the period. However, Foxconn’s expectations for the fourth quarter are only “cautiously optimistic.”

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