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Foxconn Says Plant Restart Hinges on China’s Guidance

Katharina Rosskopf and Linly Lin

(Bloomberg) -- Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Apple Inc.’s main iPhone production partner, said its factories worldwide are coordinating with authorities in carrying out virus protection and are preparing safety measures with the approval of local governments.

“Our group hasn’t received any client requests to move production resumption earlier,” the company, also known as Foxconn, said in a statement Saturday. Operating schedules will be arranged according to local governments’ requirements, the company said.

The company had asked employees at a facility in Shenzhen not to return to work when the extended Lunar New Year break ends on Monday, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg News.

Nikkei Asian Review reported earlier Saturday that after Chinese authorities intervened, Foxconn dropped plans to resume production. Public health experts told the company its Shenzhen plants face high risks of infection and are not suitable to restart work after on-site inspections, according to the newspaper, which cited four people it didn’t name.

The local government is evaluating whether Foxconn’s main Shenzhen site has implemented required measures, Shenzhen’s Longhua District Industry and Information Technology Bureau said in a WeChat post on Sunday.

That includes setting up a virus control system and quarantine location as well as stocking sufficient supplies of goods needed to combat the virus, it said. Longhua is home to Foxconn’s China headquarters.

Three Foxconn units applied on Feb. 6 to resume production and “the audit is being carried out in an orderly manner,“ the bureau said, denying that it is preventing Foxconn from carrying out its plans to resume production.

Foxconn makes the vast majority of the world’s iPhones from the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou in Henan province.

The company follows the recommendations of local governments and has been “fully coordinating” with authorities in carrying out virus prevention measures and putting safety measures in place before work resumes, Foxconn said in its statement.

(Adds Shenzhen’s Longhua district government announcement from paragraph five)

--With assistance from Debby Wu.

To contact the reporters on this story: Katharina Rosskopf in Brussels at krosskopf@bloomberg.net;Linly Lin in San Francisco at llin153@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Katerina Petroff at kpetroff@bloomberg.net, Steve Geimann, Tony Czuczka

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