Iphone Factory ChinaSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Foxconn says it has returned to normal levels of production in China and Vietnam.
  • Founder Terry Gou Tai-Ming says resumption has "exceeded expectations".
  • Concerns remain over weak consumer demand, particularly in the US.

The founder of Foxconn, Apple's main manufacturing partner in China, has said that its return to production has "exceeded expectations".

As reported by South China Morning Post:

Terry Gou Tai-ming, founder of Apple's major contract manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group, said on Thursday the resumption of production at its factories in mainland China had "exceeded expectations", following a prolonged halt owing to the coronavirus outbreak that has disrupted supply chains.

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry and the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer, has most of its production on the mainland, where many of its parts suppliers are also located, and as a consequence was hit hard by the coronavirus-related curbs that have hurt demand and upended supply chains of manufacturers globally.

Recent reports early last week suggested that Foxconn was hoping to return to normal production this month, however, this latest report suggests it may already have achieved this goal. It had previously been forced to delay the return of its workers back in February, and was even told it could not reopen by Chinese authorities.

Gou did, however, warn that the coronavirus outbreak, which was recently deemed a pandemic, could impact on consumer demand, and that the US was of particular concern:

"In the United States, what we are worried about is the market," he said. "If production was resumed quickly but consumers stop spending … that would be key to the economic recovery."

Concerns also reportedly still remain in Japan and South Korea, where outbreaks remain serious. The news will come as some relief to Apple, who's supply chain has been decimated by the coronavirus outbreak. Whilst this latest news could signal a return to normal levels of inventory and supply, demand is still likely to suffer.