Foxconn Restaffs Factories, Says There Are Enough Workers to Meet ‘Seasonal Demand’

Foxconn has reached its recruitment goals ahead of schedule and now has enough workers to meet "seasonal demand" at all of its Chinese plants, according to a statement released Sunday that was shared by Nikkei.


Foxconn is one of Apple's main suppliers, and the hiring information suggests Foxconn's factories will be adequately prepared for the launch of Apple's fall 2020 iPhones.

The factories of many Apple suppliers located in China were shut down for much of February, delaying device production. After reopening, there were staffing shortages related to quarantines and travel restrictions, resulting in factories unable to operate at peak capacity.

Foxconn said early this month that it expected to resume normal production by the end of March, and has successfully met that goal ahead of its deadline. Foxconn says that it is steadily recovering from labor shortages.

It's been unclear how the current world situation might impact the iPhone 12, with some information suggesting travel restrictions could cause delays due to an inability for Apple's engineers to travel to China to perfect the assembly process, but recent details shared by Bloomberg suggest the ‌iPhone 12‌ is still on track to launch this fall.

Foxconn says that it has implemented "rigorous measures" to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for its staff, offering virus tests to more than 55,000 workers, and chest x-rays for another 40,000. Foxconn is expected to hit its peak production period in July to prepare for the launch of the new iPhones.

Apple in fall 2020 is expected to launch up to four new ‌iPhone 12‌ models equipped with features that include 5G, triple-lens camera setups with 3D functionality, A14 chips, and more, with full details available in our iPhone 12 roundup.
Related Roundup: iPhone 12
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iPhone Production Resumption in China Exceeds Foxconn’s Expectations, But US Sales Concerns Remain

The founder of iPhone assembler Foxconn said on Thursday that the resumption of production at its factories in China had "exceeded expectations," following the coronavirus-related disruption of supply chains (via South China Morning Post).

[Terry Gou Tai-ming] told reporters that the return to work effort at Foxconn's factories in China had "exceeded our expectations and imagination," and that supplies to its plants there and in Vietnam had returned to normal.
Foxconn slashed its 2020 revenue outlook after strict quarantines were enforced at its China plants for a period in February to guard against the coronavirus outbreak. The manufacturer went on to suffer its biggest monthly drop in revenue in about seven years because of the containment measures.

The manufacturer had earlier claimed the viral outbreak had had a "fairly small impact" on ‌‌iPhone‌‌ production, suggesting its factories in other countries like Vietnam, India, and Mexico had been able to fill the gap.

China's coronavirus epidemic has passed its peak, its top health commission said on Thursday. It logged just eight new infections in Hubei province, the first time the epicenter of the outbreak recorded a daily tally of less than 10. Following the slowdown of the spread of the virus, more businesses have reopened in China as authorities ease strict containment measures.

However, for the Taiwan-based company, which is Apple's main assembler of iPhones, production issues have now been replaced by U.S. sales concerns.
"In the United States, what we are worried about is the market," said Guo. "If production was resumed quickly but consumers stop spending... that would be key to the economic recovery."
The Foxconn founder also raised concerns about the electronics supply chain in Japan and South Korea, which are grappling with their own serious outbreaks of the COVID-19 disease. Gou also cited rising prices for RAM chips and supply issues with display panels, but didn't elaborate.

In China last month, Apple sold fewer than 500,000 iPhones amid the ongoing curbs on travel and transport – a 60 percent slump in ‌iPhone‌ sales compared to the February 2019 quarter.

Apple in mid-February announced that its financial guidance for the March quarter would fall short due to the COVID-19 outbreak. During the January earnings call, Apple said it expected to see revenue of $63 to $67 billion in the March quarter, but that is no longer a goal the company will be able to meet.

Apple cited lower customer demand in China and constrained ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ supplies worldwide as the factors leading to lower than expected revenue.
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Foxconn Expects to Resume Normal Production at Chinese Plants by End of March

iPhone assembler Foxconn expects its Chinese plants to resume normal operation by the end of the month after fixing labor shortages resulting from the coronavirus outbreak (via Bloomberg).


The first quarter of the year is typically quiet for Apple and its Taiwanese ‌iPhone‌ supplier after a boom in sales over the holiday season. However, ongoing delays from the coronavirus outbreak in China could cause Apple to miss its schedule for mass producing its upcoming low-cost iPhone, according to at least one report.
"As of today, the production resumption has reached 50% of seasonal required capacity. Based on the current schedule, we shall be able to reach full seasonal capacity by the end of March," [Foxconn] said in a stock exchange filing. "There are still plenty of uncertainties which we cannot quantify around the potential impact on the full year."
Apple was planning to begin mass production on the low-cost ‌‌iPhone‌‌ in February, but sources that spoke to Nikkei last month said that meeting that target was "very challenging" and production could be delayed until March.

Current rumors have suggested Apple plans to unveil the new ‌‌iPhone‌‌ at an event that's set to take place in March, perhaps on March 31, with Apple then releasing the device on April 3. Though there are issues with production, multiple sources have said the new ‌‌iPhone‌‌ is still going to launch on time.

Foxconn slashed its 2020 revenue outlook in early February after it imposed strict quarantines at its main base in China to guard against the coronavirus outbreak. The manufacturer previously claimed the viral outbreak had had a "fairly small impact" on ‌‌iPhone‌‌ production, but since then the virus has spread to 70 countries and is responsible for 90,000 infections and 3,000 deaths, most of which have occurred in China.



Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2

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Apple Implicated in New Report on Chinese Forced Labor

A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute think-tank has named Apple among 83 other major companies benefiting from the use of potentially abusive labor transfer programs.



The Chinese government has allegedly transferred thousands of Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities from Xinjiang to factories across the country, implicating global supply chains.

The report estimates that at least 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019, some of whom were sent directly from "detention camps".

Transferred workers typically undergo organized Mandarin and ideological training outside working hours, are subject to constant surveillance and are forbidden from participating in religious observances. The Washington Post has corroborated the report's claims.

China has attracted international condemnation for its network of extrajudicial "re-education" internment camps in Xinjiang.

The report identifies four Chinese factories in Apple's supply chain which use Uyghur labor to make parts for Apple and its suppliers.

O-Film Technology Co., which supplied camera modules for iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and BOE Technology Group, a company set to become Apple's second-largest OLED screen supplier by 2021, both reportedly use Uyghur labor, either directly or through contractors. AirPods supplier GoerTek is also listed.

As many as 560 Xinjiang workers were transferred to factories in central Henan province, including to Foxconn Technology's Zhengzhou facility, which reportedly makes half of the world's iPhones.

Over the past decade, Foxconn has been marred by allegations of worker exploitation and even suicides, including recently at its Zhengzhou facility.

In 2019, Apple released a supplier responsibility progress report, stating that "we hold ourselves and our suppliers to the highest standards to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect".

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: China, Foxconn

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Foxconn Aims to Reopen Half of Assembly Plants in China by End of February

Reuters reports that Apple's main iPhone assembler Foxconn aims to reopen half of its manufacturing facilities in China by the end of February. The move would allow production lines to be phased back into action following the extensive lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Taiwan's Foxconn hopes to resume half of its production in China by month-end, a source told Reuters on Wednesday, as the supplier to tech giant Apple and others reopens plants shut over a coronavirus outbreak.

The world's largest contract electronics maker also aims to resume 80 percent of production in China in March, added the source, who has direct knowledge of the matter, citing internal targets set by Chairman Liu Young-Way.
Foxconn was originally planning to reopen its factories on February 10 to begin production on Apple devices after the Lunar New Year holiday, but the company's plans were put on hold due to the ongoing viral outbreak while facility inspections were performed. Local governments are concerned the virus will spread quickly in a labor-intensive working environment.

Foxconn this week got the go-ahead to reopen some major plants in China, and its plant in the eastern city of Kunshan was also approved on Tuesday to resume production. However, only around one tenth of the workforce had returned to two key plants in southern Shenzhen and central Zhengzhou as of Monday, a source told Reuters.

Apple has also extended the shutdown of its own retail stores in China. Stores were supposed to open on Monday, but Apple has decided to wait until February 15.

Apple typically sources components from multiple suppliers, mainly to diversify local production risks, and Apple is mulling shifting more assembly orders for its new models slated for launch in the first half of 2020 to factories in Taiwan, according to DigiTimes.

Tag: Foxconn

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Kuo Warns of Delays and Low Labor Return Rates at Apple Supplier Factories in China Due to Coronavirus

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today sent out a note to investors warning them to pay close attention to the epidemic changes of the coronavirus outbreak in China as it is having an affect on Foxconn, Pegatron, and other Apple suppliers.

In the note, Kuo outlines the status of several major Apple suppliers as workers prepare to return to factories to resume production on Apple products.


Foxconn's Zhengzhou site, which Kuo says is the most critical production site for the iPhone 11 and the upcoming low-cost iPhone, is seeing significant delays. Foxconn originally planned to resume work on February 2, but that has been postponed by at least one week. Kuo estimates that the labor return rate will be 40 to 60 percent of what it was prior to the Lunar New Year holiday when the facility reopens.

Work at Foxconn's Shenzhen location focuses on the new 2020 iPhones, and the development team there, which accounts for 30 percent of total manpower, did not take a break during the holiday. Kuo says the plan initially filled other manpower gaps, but it has been postponed for at least a week. Labor return rates are estimated at 30 to 50 percent.

Foxconn has moved production equipment to its sites in Taiyuan and India because of the delays in China, but production capacities are limited in those locations.

A report yesterday suggested that Chinese health officials had denied Foxconn's plans to reopen its factories after conducting on-site inspections and finding fault with poor airflow and the use of central air conditioning, but Chinese authorities in a statement today said that they had not blocked Foxconn from resuming production.

According to new information from Reuters, officials in Shenzhen's Longhua district where Foxconn's largest factory is located said that the report was untrue and that it was still conducting checks. Production at Foxconn facilities will restart when inspections have been completed, and Foxconn has submitted coronavirus prevention proposals that include temperature checks, requiring employees to wearing masks, and implementing a safe dining system.

Pegatron, another Apple supplier, resumed work on ‌iPhone 11‌ production and new iPhone 12 development at its Shanghai factory on February 3, with a labor return rate of 90 percent, but Kuo believes that the labor rate will fall to 60 or 70 percent because many factory employees will resign after they get paid in February.

Pegatron's Kunshan factory in charge of production on the new low-cost ‌iPhone‌ was meant to return to work on February 10, but that has been postponed "at least several days" with an estimated labor return rate of 40 to 60 percent when it reopens.

Kuo declined to provide new shipment forecasts because "there are still many uncertainties," but last week he lowered his iPhone shipment forecast by 10 percent to 36 to 40 million units during Q1 2020 due to the coronavirus.

Depending on when Apple's supplier factories reopen, there could be a significant impact on device supplies resulting in longer shipping and wait times for new devices and potential delays for devices rumored to be to launching early in the year like the low-cost ‌iPhone‌.


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Foxconn Warns Staff to Keep Away From Shenzhen iPhone Plant as Virus Prevention Efforts Continue

Apple's main iPhone assembler Foxconn has told employees not to return to work at its Shenzhen facility in China when the extended Lunar New Year break ends on February 10, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg.

"To safeguard everyone's health and safety and comply with government virus prevention measures, we urge you not to return to Shenzhen," Foxconn wrote in a text message sent to employees. "We'll update you on the situation in the city. The company will protect everyone's work-related rights and interests in the duration. As for the happy reunion date in Shenzhen, please wait for further notice."
Foxconn has reportedly halted almost all of its production in China as the government and businesses attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the country, where more than 31,000 cases have been reported so far.

It's unclear whether the Shenzhen policy extends to all employees or to Foxconn's other facilities. Earlier this week, the ‌iPhone‌ manufacturer said it planned to resume full-scale production by February 10. Other Apple suppliers such as Quanta Computer, Inventec and LG Display also said they would go back to work next week in China, but sticking to that plan seems less certain by the day.
"As a matter of policy and for reasons of commercial sensitivity, we do not comment on our specific production facilities," Foxconn told Bloomberg. "We have been closely monitoring the current public health challenge linked to the coronavirus and we are applying all recommended health and hygiene practices to all aspects of our operations in the affected markets."
Foxconn has slashed its 2020 revenue outlook after strict quarantines at its main base in China to guard against the coronavirus outbreak. The company has adopted a quarantine policy so that workers returning from outside Henan province will be sequestered for 14 days, while staff who reside within the province will be isolated for one week.

The timing of the coronavirus outbreak could impact supply of the new lower-cost iPhone that Apple is expected to announce in March. Bloomberg recently reported that production of the device was slated to begin in February, but the coronavirus outbreak could delay that timeframe.

Apple typically sources components from multiple suppliers, and Foxconn has factories outside of China, so it's likely that Apple will still release the lower-cost ‌iPhone‌ in March, even if supply is limited at launch.


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Foxconn Cuts Revenue Outlook Following Coronavirus Outbreak

Apple's primary iPhone assembler Foxconn has slashed its 2020 revenue outlook after strict quarantines at its main base in China to guard against the coronavirus outbreak (via Bloomberg).

The company is now projecting a sales increase of 1% to 3% this year, Chairman Young Liu told Bloomberg News in a text message. That’s down from a Jan. 22 forecast of 3% to 5%, before the epidemic spread around the globe, and lags the 5.4% average of analysts' projections.
Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant won't resume production until February 10 following an extended Lunar New Year break, and the company now says that workers returning from outside Henan province will be sequestered for 14 days, while staff who reside within the province will be isolated for one week.

The manufacturer previously claimed the viral outbreak had had a "fairly small impact" on ‌iPhone‌ production, suggesting its factories in other countries like Vietnam, India, and Mexico had been able to fill the gap.

Apple last week closed all of its corporate offices, stores, and contact centers in mainland China through February 9 due to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Apple has around 10,000 direct employees in China, across its retail and corporate divisions.

Close to 60 million people remain under lockdown in China. With the virus death toll rising in recent days, the goal of people returning to work on February 10 is looking increasingly less certain. As a result, the contagion is expected to disrupt Apple's Chinese ‌iPhone‌ supply chain as well as dampen consumer demand and overall economic growth.

The outbreak has killed 492 people worldwide, the majority of which are in China, and infected more than 24,500 people across 25 countries.

Tags: China, Foxconn

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Foxconn Has Reportedly Seen ‘Fairly Small Impact’ From Coronavirus Outbreak, But That Could Change

Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has seen a "fairly small impact" from the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak so far, but the company could face a "big" impact to its iPhone production if the Chinese government forces factories to remain closed for an additional week or longer, according to Reuters.

The report claims that Foxconn has halted "almost all" of its production in China through February 9 as ordered, but its factories in other countries such as Vietnam, India, and Mexico have apparently been able to fill the gap for now.


The timing of the coronavirus outbreak could impact supply of the new lower-cost iPhone that Apple is expected to announce in March. Bloomberg recently reported that production of the device was slated to begin in February, but the coronavirus outbreak could delay that timeframe.

Given that Apple typically sources components from multiple suppliers, and that Foxconn has factories outside of China, it is likely that Apple will still release the lower-cost iPhone in March, even if supply is limited at launch.

Last week, the World Health Organization declared the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency. More information about the virus and how to protect yourself is available on the agency's website.

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Foxconn and Compal Will Reportedly Assemble ‘Apple Watch Series 6’ Models Next Year

Foxconn and Compal Electronics have obtained orders to assemble 2020 models of the Apple Watch, which would be Series 6 models if Apple sticks to its naming scheme, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. The report adds that Luxshare Precision will likely take orders for older Apple Watch models.


A preview of the upcoming report:
Compal, Foxconn land orders for next-gen Apple Watch:
Compal Electronics and Foxconn Technology Group (Hon Hai Precision Industry) have obtained orders for the 2020 series of Apple Watch, while China-based Luxshare ICT will likely take orders for old-generation Apple Watch devices, according to industry sources.
This news follows another DigiTimes report that claimed Quanta Computer will likely stop assembling the Apple Watch in 2020 due to alleged "profit concerns." Quanta has been a primary Apple Watch manufacturer since 2015.

Apple Watch Series 6 rumors are still slim, but it has been reported that Apple has a team of biomedical engineers working on a method for non-invasively monitoring blood glucose levels using optical sensors, technology that could potentially make its way into the Apple Watch at some point in the future.

MacRumors also discovered references to sleep tracking on the Apple Watch being developed internally, with Bloomberg claiming the functionality could be released in 2020 if testing is successful. Apple accidentally mentioned an unreleased Sleep app for watchOS in an App Store screenshot earlier this month.

Rumors suggest 2020 could also be the year the Apple Watch gets a MicroLED display, and if true, Series 6 models could potentially have thinner, brighter, and more power efficient displays compared to current OLED models.

Apple just released Series 5 models in September, with key new features including an always-on display, a new Compass app, international emergency calling on cellular models, 32GB of internal storage, and new titanium and ceramic casing options. Series 6 models would likely arrive in September 2020.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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