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The United States continues to lift pandemic-related restrictions. But the health crisis is far from over and it’s about to hit tech manufacturing again: China has placed Shenzhen, where Tencent and Huawei are headquartered and Apple supplier Foxconn operates sites, on lockdown for at least a week.
The new restrictions come after the number of new cases reported in the country rose from 1,100 on Friday to 3,122 on Sunday. The lockdown affects Shenzhen’s 17.5 million residents, who will now have to undergo mass testing. Jilin Province was also sent into partial lockdown.
Foxconn halted production at its Longhua and Guanlan factories, one of which makes iPhones, and said it would move production to other factories nationwide. The Apple and Samsung supplier’s Shenzhen base is its second-largest in China, according to Nikkei. Huawei, Tencent and Oppo are also headquartered in the city.
Shanghai, a huge semiconductor hub, also announced restrictions following an increase in COVID-19 cases. As a result, power management chip packaging and testing company GEM Services is halting production until tomorrow, Nikkei reported.
The lockdown is relatively short, but it shows how much daily life and tech manufacturing are still reeling from the pandemic. Last spring, global shipping rates increased and port operations were delayed following an outbreak of COVID-19 in Shenzhen, and when COVID-19 first broke out, almost all areas of technological production have been affected.
Paul Weedman, head of manufacturing consultancy Victure Industrial in Shenzhen, told Reuters the restrictions will affect the company for months. The company was forced to suspend production and cancel tours.
“Imagine you have a 100-person factory and all of a sudden you can’t do anything — you can’t fulfill your existing orders, you can’t accept new orders,” Weedman said. “The impact is not 2 or 3 weeks, but 3-6 months.”