COVID Flare-Ups in China Hurting iPhone Production

    Photo: wsj

    The Facts

    • On the precipice of the year-end holiday season — traditionally the busiest time of the year for electronics makers — Apple has announced it expects fewer iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max shipments than originally predicted. This is due to temporary COVID restrictions at its assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China.

    • China’s COVID lockdowns in Zhengzhou have affected production at the Foxconn plant, which employs around 200K people and produces the majority of new phones for Apple.

    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    The slowdown at Foxconn and the iPhone delivery delays are the least of China’s economic problems. Exports had been a bright spot in the country’s struggling economy, however, exports and imports both were down in October and the decrease in global demand doesn’t bode well for the near future. China’s going to have to rethink some of its policies, COVID-related and otherwise.

    Pro-China narrative

    Issues at Foxconn are merely a blip on the radar that will delay some from getting their new iPhone in time for the holiday — not a sign of any long-term issues for the PRC economy. Zhengzhou will soon have its COVID issues under control, and Foxconn is offering financial incentives for new and returning workers who will have the factory back running full tilt in no time.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that China will end its "Covid-Zero" policy by September 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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