30 March 2020
Coronavirus, the deadliest disease caused due to a group of viruses is spreading like fire and many cases outside China have already been recorded, and the latest one to add is UAE. While this lethal has taken a large number of lives, it is also impacting the companies and factories which operate in China.
The consequences are mainly impacting those from where this disease has been originated. Wuhan, being the epicenter of the outbreak has pushed its residents to leave the place. The entire city of Wuhan has been put under quarantine by the Chinese government but this doesn’t grant the suppliers and factories to continue to work.
The outbreak has impacted Apple’s manufacturing plant which is in China as well. Tim Cook spoke to CNBC on the potential impact the coronavirus might have on the company. He said that the coronavirus outbreak in China is impacting Apple’s operations in the country. He further said, "Retail traffic has also been impacted outside of the city over the last few days."
Cook confirmed that the company has shut one store in China and is also restricting travel to business-critical travel.
“For employees that are in the Wuhan area, we are providing care kits and supplying them across our employee population in China as well.”
On Tuesday, during the investors' conference call, Cook announced the closing of their store until the mentioned period by the country’s government. To halt the spread of the virus, the Chinese government has extended the Lunar New Year holiday to reduce mass gathering.
During the conference, he also said,
"We have alternate sourcing and contingency plans. Factories outside Wuhan are less clear. We are trying to factor in factory re-opening delays into our guidance."
Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn also said several provisions have already been made to meet the production obligations in China. As shared by Cook, Foxconn is also following the holiday schedules until all Chinese businesses return to standard operating hours.
We do not comment on our specific production practices, but we can confirm that we have measures in place to ensure that we can continue to meet all global manufacturing obligations.
Reportedly, Cook also told Reuters,
The situation is emerging, and we're still gathering lots of data points and monitoring it very closely.
So, while Apple and its manufacturing partner have the provisions ready, there can be some impact on the overall production of the upcoming iPhones, including the rumored iPhone 9/SE2, and the new AirPods.