A new report says that Changge county has called upon retired People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel in China to come and work at the world’s largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou in order to help get production back up and running.
SCMP reports that the government has written an open letter to retired PLA personnel “urging” them to “answer the government’s call” and “take part in the resumption of production” at Foxconn’s “iPhone City” plant in Zhengzhou.
The report says the call is part of a wider campaign in the province “to help recruit fresh assembly line workers for Foxconn’s Zhengzhou compound” where “tens of thousands of panicked workers have fled” in recent weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak and strict lockdown measures.
According to SCMP, the open letter has since been removed from the social media platform WeChat without explanation. The report cites experts who say the measures “reflect concerns that further disruptions in production could accelerate Apple’s pace of diversifying production outside China.” Earlier today it emerged Apple’s suppliers are planning another large factory in India.
Foxconn employs 300,000 workers at its enormous plant, where all of Apple’s best iPhones including the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are assembled. Apple recently warned that its main Zhengzhou factory was working at a “significantly reduced capacity.
“COVID-19 restrictions have temporarily impacted the primary iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max assembly facility located in Zhengzhou, China,” the company stated, warning that it expects to see “lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated and customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products.”
The stark outlook make the latest Black Friday iPhone deals even more appealing, with stock likely to dwindle as we get closer to the holiday season and November’s main sales events.