Foxconn denies report on resuming China output as virus spreads

The Taiwanese electronics maker says reports of it resuming production in China by end of February were not factual.

Foxconn factory
Foxconn said it was working closely with local authorities in China to implement post-holiday production schedules [File: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg]

Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn said on Thursday that recent reports by the Reuters news agency on its plans to resume manufacturing operations in China, after being closed for extended Lunar New Year holidays due to the coronavirus outbreak, were not factual.

Foxconn made the comment in a statement to the Taipei stock exchange without elaborating on its production status.

The world’s largest contract electronics maker, formally Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd is a supplier to tech giant Apple Inc and others.

It was among many businesses that shuttered their plants in mainland China due to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequently delayed resuming output.

“Recently, Reuters reports on the group’s overall resumption schedule for the mainland China plants are not factual, and Hon Hai hereby clarifies it,” Foxconn said in the statement.

“In the past, the aforementioned media’s reports related to the group’s mainland China plants resumption are mostly not factual,” it said, adding that the reports have caused “misunderstandings and difficulties for employees, investors and the general public.”

When asked to clarify which aspects of the reports Foxconn was referring to, company spokesman Jimmy Huang told Reuters by telephone on Thursday that all elaborations were made in the statement to the stock exchange.

Reuters reported on Monday that Foxconn got the green light to reopen two of its largest plants in China that had been closed due to the coronavirus, citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Foxconn was planning to resume production even though only about 10 percent of the workforce had returned as of Monday, the person said.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Foxconn hoped to resume half of its production in China by the end of February, quoting a person who had direct knowledge of internal targets set by Chairman Liu Young-Way.

Foxconn had previously said the company does not comment on specific production initiatives due to commercial sensitivity. It said its teams in China were working closely with the respective local government agencies to implement their post-holiday production schedules.

Source: Reuters