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Apple supplier warns of production shutdown if Taiwan COVID crisis continues

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What you need to know

  • An Apple supplier executive has warned of an impending disaster in Taiwan.
  • They say that if the majority of Taiwan's population does not receive the COVID vaccine soon companies may be forced to halt production.
  • Chip testing service King Yuan Electronics has already reportedly been forced to shut down for two days.

An executive at one of Apple's suppliers in Taiwan has warned that if more people in the country do not receive COVID vaccines "more and more companies" may be forced to halt production.

From Nikkei Asia:

A leading Taiwanese semiconductor supplier will suspend all domestic production for two days after reporting a COVID infection cluster, risking the continuity of the island's crown-jewel chip supply chain at a time of a global shortage.King Yuan Electronics, the world's leading chip testing service provider, said it will suspend production at sites in Miaoli and Hsinchu -- the hub of the island's chip industry -- that account for around 80% of its revenue.

Nikkei reports that 77 employees have contracted the virus as of Friday and that King Yuan plans to test all 7,300 of its employees. The report notes that as COVID cases continue to climb in the country, multiple Apple suppliers have reported infections:

Companies including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's biggest chipmaker, and its smaller peer United Microelectronics Co. have reported sporadic COVID cases among employees. MacBook maker Quanta Computer, iPad and Dell notebook maker Compal Electronics, iPhone supplier Pegatron, and Tesla supplier Delta Electronics have also reported confirmed cases.

One unnamed executive of an Apple supplier in the country gave the outlet a stark warning stating "If the majority of the population in Taiwan do not receive COVID vaccines soon, I fear it is only a matter of time until more and more companies will be forced to halt production due to the spread of the virus."

Similar issues in Vietnam forced major Apple supplier Foxconn to close its factories in May, but these have since reopened. As Nikkei notes, both Japan and the U.S. have pledged to donate vaccines to Taiwan.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.