BEIJING — Apple supplier Foxconn said it would continue to maintain closed-loop operations at its iPhone plant in central China, even as the economic zone that housed the factory lifted a 7-day lockdown on Wednesday as planned.
The Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone, which has over 600,000 residents, said on its official WeChat account that it had lifted the district-wide lockdown, though certain restrictions would remain especially in medium- to high-risk areas, defined in China as places where cases have recently been found or visited.
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Companies in high-risk areas, for example, need to continue to implement closed loop operations, a system where staff live and work on-site in a bubble isolated from the wider world.
Foxconn said on Wednesday it would continue to implement the system. The company has declined to disclose the number of infections or comment on the conditions of those infected.
The lockdown of the zone, which barred all of its residents from going out and shut down its public transport, had added pressure to Foxconn which has been dealing with worker discontent at the plant after it implemented closed-loop operations in mid-October.
The issues at the plant where Foxconn makes most iPhones caused several workers to flee the plant and have hit production, prompting Apple on Monday to say that it expects lower shipments of premium iPhone 14 models.
The Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone said that while most residents in the area would now be free to move around, dine-in services at restaurants would continue to be suspended and schools would continue with online teaching. (Reporting by Beijing newsroom and Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Writing by Brenda Goh; editing by Christian Schmollinger and Stephen Coates)