Apple supplier Foxconn has announced the temporary closure of two of its manufacturing sites in Shenzhen, China, in response to a COVID-19-related lockdown imposed on the city’s 17 million inhabitants on Sunday, March 13.
Foxconn is closing two sites in the southern metropolis, one of which manufactures Apple’s iPhone, Bloomberg reported. In an effort to minimize the impact, the manufacturing giant said it would shift production to other sites outside Shenzhen.
According to news outlet Nikkei Asia, Shenzhen is Foxconn’s second-largest manufacturing hub in China. Its main facility for producing iPhones is in Zhengzhou, a city 840 miles to the north.
News of the shutdown comes as Apple prepares to start shipping its new iPhone SE (2022) handset, which the tech giant unveiled at a special event last week.
With pre-orders already open, buyers are currently being told that the new handset is available for in-store pick up on Friday, March 18, with shipping dates in the U.S. currently showing for late March. Whether Foxconn’s factory closure impacts shipping times for the new iPhone SE, or indeed any of its available handsets, remains to be seen.
It’s also too early to say if the lockdown in Shenzhen will impact delivery dates for Apple’s other new products, including the Mac Studio desktop that was unveiled at the same time as the iPhone SE (2022). How the lockdown will affect other global tech firms is also hard to gauge at this early stage.
Shenzhen’s week-long lockdown forces the closure of all non-essential businesses and comes in response to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in what is one of the world’s busiest tech manufacturing hubs. China has been operating a zero-COVID policy since the start of the pandemic, a strategy that prompts swift lockdowns and mass testing in affected areas.
The lockdown comes as major tech firms continue to grapple with the global chip shortage, which was also caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Digital Trends has reached out to Apple for more information on the current situation in Shenzhen and we will update this article when we hear back.
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