A new chapter unfolds at the largest iPhone factory in China. Local authorities have ordered a seven-day lockdown at the site due to a COVID-19 outbreak on the weekend. As Foxconn is paying higher bonuses to maintain workers producing iPhone 14 Pro models, the Chinese government is imposing a “silent management” measure.
According to Reuters, the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone is imposing this silent management measure which includes barring all residents from going out and only allowing approved vehicles on roads within that area.
The curbs will last until Nov. 9, it said. The lockdown marks a re-tightening of measures in Zhengzhou, which unexpectedly lifted a quasi-lockdown on its nearly 13 million residents the day before. The city reported 358 locally transmitted cases for Tuesday, up from 95 the day before.
While Foxconn told the agency that “its campus there continued operating under a ‘closed-loop management system,’ referring to a bubble-like arrangement commonly imposed as part of virus prevention measures in China, where employees sleep, live, and work isolated from the wider world,” it’s unclear how the local authority measures will affect Foxconn and the transport of goods in and out of the complex.
The Zhengzhou plant is the largest iPhone factory in the world and accounts for over 60-70% of all iPhone production. Over these past weeks, BGR has been reporting Foxconn’s goal to keep producing iPhones despite the COVID-19 outbreak and workers fleeing due to the disease.
As the holiday season approaches, Apple is trying to meet the demand for its flagship iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models. With this new restriction, it’s unclear how it will affect Foxconn and the Cupertino company.
Currently, Foxconn is said to redistribute iPhone production to other locations so it doesn’t have a broader impact. BGR will keep reporting as we learn more about the effects of the seven-day lockdown in the largest iPhone factory city.