Business Standard

Foxconn delays China return for Taiwan staff over virus fears


AFP Taipei
Tech giant Foxconn said Wednesday that Taiwan staff at its vast network of factories in China do not need to return to work until mid-February, as fears mount over the spread of the new coronavirus.
The move will impact likely global supply chains for tech companies that rely on the Taiwan company to manufacture everything from iPhones to flat-screen TVs and laptops.
China's industrial base has been buffeted by the outbreak of the mystery virus, which began in the manufacturing hub of Wuhan but has since spread across the country and overseas.
China on an extended holiday that ends Monday but some local governments, including Shanghai, have added an extra week.
The governor of Hubei province, from where the virus emerged said Wednesday that companies would not resume work before midnight on February 13.
Foxconn said it would allow Taiwan employees at its mainland-based factories to put off returning to work until well after the Lunar New Year holiday.
"Employees are the company's most important asset," it said in a statement.
Foxconn's statement said most of its manufacturing plants will anyway remain closed until February 10 due to government guidelines.
The company tried to allay fears of production shortfalls saying it had previous experience of viral outbreaks following the SARS epidemic in 2003.
"We can meet both the demands of our clients and also our employees' health," the statement added.
Also known by its official name Hon Hai Precision Industry, Foxconn is the world's biggest contract electronics maker and assembles Apple's iPhones as well as gadgets for other international brands.
It is China's biggest private-sector employer with more than 30 factories and research facilities -- including one in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

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First Published: Jan 29 2020 | 8:10 PM IST

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