iPhone supplier Foxconn's plan to resume production on Feb. 10 has been called off by the Chinese authorities due to worries surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, the Nikkei Asian Review reports.
Reuters previously said that any additional delays would have a significant impact on Apple’s iPhone sales. The company depends on Foxconn factories to assemble iPhones.
The action further worsens the supply chain disruption for global electronics companies, including Apple, Amazon, Google and Huawei. Foxconn is the world's biggest iPhone assembler, and it makes Huawei smartphones and Amazon Kindle tablets as well as echo speakers, while it also supplies HP, Dell and most the major electronics brands.
According to the report, public health experts in Shenzhen informed Foxconn, which trades as Hon Hai Precision Industry, that its factories there face "high risks of coronavirus infection" after conducting on-site inspections and therefore are not suitable to restart work.
Foxconn's Zhengzhou complex, which is the world's biggest iPhone production base, also canceled plans to resume work on Monday.
The health risks pointed out by the Shenzhen public health authorities include poor airflow of the restaurants and employees' dormitories.
Apple has also extended its retail store closures in China, with most stores remaining closed until Feb. 15 amid the worsening coronavirus outbreak.
iPad supplier Compal Electronics on Friday also postponed its plans to resume work at its Kunshan facilities, located in Jiangsu Province, from Feb.10 to Feb.17, the company announced on its WeChat account.
China's National Health Commission said on Friday that coronavirus epidemic so far has caused 722 deaths in the country, with 31,774 confirmed patients.
Update: Chinese authorities say they have not blocked Foxconn (2317.TW) from resuming production amid a coronavirus outbreak.
Shenzhen’s Longhua district, where Foxconn’s largest factory is located, said in a statement on its official WeChat account on Sunday that the reports were untrue and that it was still conducting checks, adding that the company would restart production once inspections were completed.
It said it had received proposals from three Foxconn subsidiaries on Feb. 6 detailing how the Taipei-headquartered firm, which makes smartphones for Apple and other brands, planned to put in place epidemic prevention and control measures.