Since its December outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei, China, the coronavirus has infected more than 20,000 people and caused the deaths of 400. The ailment has also shuttered manufacturing across the communist nation. However, a new report from Bloomberg suggests the situation may have stabilized somewhat. Indeed, Apple’s key iPhone supplier Foxconn now plans to resume production on February 10.
Foxconn iPhone Plant to Reopen Next Monday
Exercising caution, Beijing has restricted travel across and out of the country to stop the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. The Sino government also extended the Lunar New Year holiday from January 30 to February 9. As such, several multinational corporations that do business in China had to suspend operations temporarily.
Notably, Foxconn shut down the production facilities that are responsible for assembling most of the world’s iPhones. Similarly, Apple ordered its Chinese contact centers, corporate offices, and stores temporarily shuttered on the advice of health and safety experts.
But Bloomberg learned Foxconn intends to resume iPhone production starting on February 10. The newsgathering organization also found out other China-based Apple suppliers Inventec and Quanta Computer expect to restart operations on the same day. Also, South Korean manufacturer LG plans to reopen its Guangzhou-centered display plant next Monday.
Coronavirus Impact on Global Manufacturing
Although the primary impact of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is its deleterious effect on the health and safety of thousands of people, it’s also hurting the global manufacturing sector.
When presenting its FQ1 2020 earnings last week, Apple outlined the virus’s potential impact on its 2020 revenue. The corporation offered guidance that it would generate between $63 billion to $67 billion in FQ2 2020. The firm attributed that wider than usual forecast to the destabilizing impact of the viral epidemic.
Before the outbreak occurred, Apple asked its suppliers to ramp up iPhone production to meet higher-than-expected demand. Consequently, even if Foxconn resumes operations next Monday, retailers may face costly inventory constraints. Moreover, the electronics maker might have to adjust plans to launch its iPhone SE successor.
Apple reportedly planned to begin production of its new budget handset in March. However, if the Chinese government extends its coronavirus lockdown, the Big Tech firm may have to revise its 2020 release schedule. It’s worth noting Apple isn’t the only corporation to face manufacturing issues because of the Wuhan epidemic.
Tesla had to temporarily close its Shanghai-situated Gigafactory 3 per the Chinese government’s health mandates. For the last two quarters, the electric car maker posted record revenues, in part thanks to its robust Sino business. But a protracted shutdown of its Chinese manufacturing facility could cause it to miss analyst sales expectations in this quarter.
Besides, the South China Morning Post reports Chinese mobile device makers Lenovo, Oppo, and Xiaomi are also struggling with the coronavirus outbreak. All three firms have followed the Chinese government’s mandate to pause manufacturing operations. Moreover, Lenovo might soon run into supply issues as it sources many of its components in Hubei.
For updated information on the epidemic, follow the World Health Organization’s updates on the coronavirus (2019-nCov).