An iPhone production plant in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen is being forced into a seven-day “closed loop” lockdown by Chinese authorities, alongside 100 other companies in an attempt to curb COVID-19 infections, Bloomberg reports.
The “closed loop” system will mean only employees who live on-site will be able to work, blocking access from the outside and largely prohibiting anyone from leaving the factory.
A Foxconn spokesperson said despite the new lockdown, operations at the plant remain “normal.” Foxconn’s plant in Shenzhen is second-largest to the “iPhone city” in Zhengzhou, China. The new lockdown, nonetheless, adds strain to a struggling supply chain impacting tech giants.
The timing of the lockdown also comes as a worry as Foxconn is expected to begin mass production of the upcoming iPhone 14 series in several weeks, ahead of launch in September. In 2020, amid widespread lockdowns and uncertainty, Apple had to postpone its iPhone 12 launch till October, a month delay due to supply chain woes.
While a similar sequence of events is unlikely to happen this year, the lockdowns could mean limited availability at launch for customers.