China’s Nio halts production, Foxconn park locks down over COVID

Electric carmaker announces temporary suspension of production after reports COVID curbs shut two of its factories.

People inspecting car in Nio showroom
China’s electric carmaker Nio has suspended production due to tightened COVID-19 restrictions [File: Norihiko Shirouzu/Reuters]

China’s electric carmaker Nio has suspended production due to tightened COVID-19 restrictions, while an industrial park that hosts Apple supplier Foxconn has gone into lockdown amid rising cases.

Nio on Wednesday confirmed that production had been “temporarily suspended” after local news outlet 36Kr earlier reported that COVID curbs had halted operations at its two factories in the central city of Hefei.

The company, which ranks 13th for sales among electric vehicle makers in China, acknowledged the disruption would “impact on production and delivery schedules”.

Nio had apologised to customers on Monday for delayed deliveries, which it said fell 7.5 percent in October compared with the previous month.

Nio shares on Wednesday fell as much as 7.5 percent to 75.50 Hong Kong dollars ($9.62) following news of the latest disruptions.

Separately, the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone, which hosts an iPhone factory belonging to Foxconn, said it would bar all residents from going out and only allow approved vehicles on the roads until at least November 9.

The announcement comes after authorities in Zhengzhou, the capital of central Henan province, reported 64 cases during the previous 24 hours.

Foxconn produces about 70 percent of the world’s iPhones, most of them at the Zhengzhou plant, where it employs about 200,000 people.

The industrial park did not specify how the measures might affect Foxconn, and Foxconn and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Foxconn has been working to retain staff and smooth over tensions in the factory, after workers complained about their treatment and provisions under COVID-19 prevention measures.

Several employees also fled the factory, prompting Foxconn to offer generous bonuses to retain staff.

China has stuck to its harsh “dynamic zero-COVID” policy, which aims to stamp out the virus at almost any cost, despite mounting economic and social costs, and the rest of the world’s shift to living with the virus.

Source: News Agencies