Report: Foxconn's Chennai, India plant to remain closed following protests

Apple Iphone Ipad Availability Beijing Iphone 13 Pro Close Up
Apple Iphone Ipad Availability Beijing Iphone 13 Pro Close Up (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple partner Foxconn is dealing with an Indian factory closure.
  • The Chennai Foxconn plant is closed due to a recent food poisoning incident and subsequent protest.
  • The same Chennai plant is expected to begin iPhone 13 production in February.

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn will see its Chennai, India plan remain closed this week following protests relating to a food poisoning incident, according to a new report.

Reuters, citing three government sources, says that the factory closed on Saturday and will remain that way until Sunday.

"The factory has been shut since Saturday and will be shut till coming Sunday," said a senior official at the directorate of industrial safety and health in Tamil Nadu, of which Chennai is the capital. Two more senior state officials confirmed the suspension of activities at the factory.

The situation appears thanks to a food poisoning incident that saw around 150 Foxconn employees require hospital treatment. Protests relating to the incident saw dozens of people block a highway the report notes.

While the plant is responsible for iPhone 12 production, a new report also claims that iPhone 13 production has begun a trial phase at the same plant. That trial is expected to see iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini devices produced in Chennai to be sold locally and internationally as of February, although it isn't immediately clear whether this latest news will have any notable impact on that timescale. The high-end iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will not be built there, according to reports.

The Chennai plant is part of a $1 billion investment in India that comes as Foxconn works to move away from its reliance on Chinese labor — something the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to prove a worthwhile move.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.