Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn may not resume full production at its China factories for several more weeks, in the latest signal that China’s travel restrictions implemented to combat the worsening novel coronavirus epidemic could disrupt global tech supply chains.
While businesses were set to resume work Feb. 10 following an extended Lunar New Year holiday, various levels of inter- and intra-city lockdowns, including closed borders, shut public transport and dwindling flights into China, still loom over the economy.
“Nobody knows for sure if some workers could get back in time,” a source familiar with Foxconn’s current situation told Reuters.
The source added that the company’s management has applied to reopen factories and is scrambling to meet requirements by local governments, but things were “chaotic,” according to Reuters.
“We will be very glad if the return rate could hit 30% (on Feb. 10),” the source told Reuters. Foxconn’s profits will “definitely” take a hit in 2020 and the firm is still evaluating how big the impact will be, the source added.
According to Bloomberg, the Taiwan-based company this week already revised its 2020 sales outlook from a previous forecast of 3% to 5% growth down to 1% to 3% growth due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has so far killed more than 560 and sickened some 28,000 people.
Analysts predict that Apple would have to postpone the launch of its new iPhone, planned for March, by several weeks, if Foxconn is unable to restart production next week.
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