Shanghai lockdown: iPhone maker halts operations at Chinese sites

A major iPhone maker Apple has become the latest maker to halt operations due to the Shanghai lockdown.

Technology company Pegatron said it had temporarily suspended production at two of its factories in China.

The announcement came even as authorities relaxed some of Shanghai’s coronavirus regulations on Tuesday.

It means some of the city’s 25 million people may leave their homes for the first time in weeks.

The city was locked down in late March after infections spiked in the main manufacturing and financial hub.

In a stock market filing, Pegatron said it halted operations at its factories in nearby Shanghai and Kunshan “in response to local government Covid-19 prevention requirements.”

The company said it would work with authorities “to resume operations as soon as possible.”

Major Apple MacBook maker Quanta and iPad maker Compal Electronics have also suspended operations in Chinese cities, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei.

Pegatron did not give further details when contacted for comment by the BBC. Apple, Quanta and Compal did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Dan Ives, an analyst at investment firm Wedbush Securities, said he expected the shutdowns to impact production.

He estimated that production of 3 million iPhones has been affected so far this month, “with more to come if this continues”.

Mr Ives also told the BBC that production of 2 million iPads and 1 million MacBooks could also be affected.

“The Pegatron shutdowns throw fuel on the raging fire that is Apple’s supply chain and other parts of the iPhone ecosystem,” he said. “This amplifies the supply chain issues for iPhones.”

Another Taiwanese company, Foxconn, which also assembles iPhones for Apple, halted operations at its Shenzhen factory last month.

It moved production to other manufacturing sites, while resuming operations in Shenzhen with employees working in a closed-loop system, which saw staff live and work at the factory.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2019, China has imposed lockdowns affecting millions of people in major cities including Xi’an and Wuhan.

Shanghai’s lockdown is the largest to date and the city is a key hub for the financial industry, manufacturing and home to the world’s largest port.