As Apple gears up to sell tens of millions of iPhone smartphones over the holiday season, the company could get hit by a supply roadblock. That is because Foxconn is facing a production reduction at one of its main plants due to China’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken an absolutely hardline approach to COVID policy, including travel and transit restrictions and complete lockdowns. However, factories are typically allowed to keep operating with a closed loop where staff live on-site.

While for most countries it is mostly back to normal following the pandemic, China continues to battle major outbreaks of the virus. As such, the government still uses strict COVID guidelines. It is those guidelines that could see one of the largest factories in the world reduce production by up to 30% in November.

Foxconn is Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner and the main producer of iPhone devices. There are around 200,000 people working at its main Zhengzhou factory but there has been a COVID outbreak in the workforce.

Lockdown

Now, the city government has locked down the city, which has a population of 10 million. Staff were forced to lockdown at the factory and there are reports of worker unrest and employees finding ways to escape.

Foxconn says it is trying to offset the reduction by increasing iPhone manufacturing at its Shenzhen plant. Speaking to Reuters, sources close to the company say production continues at Zhengzhou but is significantly reduced.

Taiwanese company Foxconn insists its production level for the iPhone 14 is normal and on schedule despite the setback.

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