Foxconn iPhone plant back at 90 pct capacity after COVID-19 turmoil subsides

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Foxconn Technology Group has brought the world’s largest iPhone plant to about 90 percent of anticipated peak capacity, suggesting Apple Inc.’s biggest main production partner has secured enough workers despite a COVID-19 resurgence and recent staff upheaval.

Foxconn’s plant in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou is now operating with roughly 200,000 staff, the official Henan Daily reported, citing Foxconn executive Vic Wang.

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That is about the normal staffing level, based on previous reports.

As of December 30, the plant was shipping at 90 percent of the peak capacity forecast at the start of last year, the representative said.

The factory’s speedy bounce-back bodes well for production of Apple’s marquee product in the run-up to the Lunar New Year shopping season.

A nationwide COVID-19 flare-up after Beijing abruptly dropped most COVID zero-era curbs had clouded the prospects for manufacturers like Foxconn, which require armies of workers to keep factories humming.

The recent outbreak followed weeks of turmoil at the Zhengzhou plant known as iPhone City, which produces the vast majority of high-end iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max devices. Thousands of workers fled or staged protests against extreme COVID-19 curbs in November — a movement that reverberated across the country.

Foxconn ended most of those restrictions last month and ramped up incentives for both new and existing employees.

That unprecedented disruption in turn stoked concerns about iPhone production over the critical holiday period. Apple at one point stood to lose close to 6 million units of iPhone production as a result of that upheaval, Bloomberg News has reported.

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