FILE PHOTO: The logo of Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, is seen on top of the company’s building in Taipei, Taiwan March 30, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s Foxconn has received approval to resume production at a plant in the northern Chinese city of Zhengzhou that had been shuttered due to a coronavirus outbreak, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.
About 16,000 people, or under 10% of Foxconn’s workforce in Zhengzhou, have returned to the plant, the person said, adding that company executives were “trying very hard” to negotiate with authorities to resume production in other parts of China.
The contract manufacturer, which makes devices for global vendors, is in talks to resume production at key plants including in Shenzhen and Kunshan, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and so declined to be identified.
A delayed resumption of operations could impact the global technology supply chain and shipments to customers including Apple Inc, a person with direct knowledge of the matter previously told Reuters.
Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The coronavirus outbreak, which the World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency, threatens to disrupt Chinese manufacturing and force policymakers to ready measures to stabilize the economy.
Tens of thousands of Foxconn employees have returned to work following an extended Lunar New Year holiday and were waiting to start. They have been told to wear masks, undergo temperature checks and adhere to a specified dining system, showed internal memos reviewed by Reuters.
Foxconn built its own production lines in the southern province of Guangdong to make masks for its hundreds of thousands of employees, targeting two million masks a day when at full capacity by late February, the memos showed.
Shares of Foxconn fell 2.4% in Monday morning trade, lagging a 1% decline in the broader market. They have fallen more than 12% since the market reopened following the Lunar New Year break.
Reporting by Yimou Lee and Taipei newsroom; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Christopher Cushing