FactorySource: Apple

What you need to know

  • iPhone factory workers have been told not to return to work over Coronavirus fears.
  • They were initially due to begin work February 10, after the Lunar Break which was extended because of disruption.
  • Employees have been told to wait for further notice.

iPhone factory workers have been told not to return to Shenzhen, in order to comply with government virus prevention measures.

According to Bloomberg:

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. told employees at its Shenzhen facility not to return to work when the extended Lunar New Year break ends Feb. 10, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

Shenzhen is not Apple's main plant in the country, but this is still the most material disruption we've seen caused by the coronavirus with regards to Apple's supply chain. A text message to Foxconn employees stated:

"To safeguard everyone's health and safety and comply with government virus prevention measures, we urge you not to return to Shenzhen... 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."

Reports of predicted disruption are now widespread, and Apple issued wider-than-normal guidance for its Q2 2020 earnings as a result. Very recently it was reported that AirPods production had slowed to a crawl and that new shipments had not been sent out for more than two weeks.

Reports of workers being told not to return to their posts in Shenzhen is the latest in a growing list of disruption. Apple has been forced to close all of its China operations in the country and the official death toll has risen above 600.