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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Foxconn, iPhone manufacturer, instructs workers not to return to Shenzhen over coronavirus concerns

The coronavirus outbreak is causing mass disruptions throughout China, and has indirectly affected supply chains of major tech companies. It has even prompted some major companies to skip out on MWC this year to deal with the disruptions.

According to a memo obtained by Bloomberg, Apple iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has instructed its employees to avoid coming back home after the Chinese New Year extended break, which was expected to end on February 10. This, after Foxconn expected to reopen on February 9. Employees received the following message from Foxconn.

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.

Although Apple’s main manufacturing takes place outside of Shenzhen in Zhengzhou, Shenzhen is essentially Foxconn’s Chinese headquarters office where it employs thousands of employees that don’t live there. Note that it isn’t clear whether the memo applies to only Shenzhen-based Foxconn workers or those in other regions as well.

As per Bloomberg, Foxconn workers returning to Zhengzhou from outside the province will be quarantined for 14 days as this is how long it takes before a person is infected following exposure of the disease. The coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt major US companies who operate in China.

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