REUTERS: Chinese authorities have blocked a plan by Apple supplier Foxconn to resume production in China from Monday, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday, amid concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus.
Public health experts carried out inspections at Foxconn's factories in the southern city of Shenzhen and told the company that its factories had a "high risk of coronavirus infection", making them unsuitable for a production restart, the newspaper https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus-outbreak/China-blocks-restart-of-Foxconn-plants-due-to-coronavirus-sources said, citing four people familiar with the matter without identifying them.
Taiwan's Foxconn, which makes smartphones for global vendors including Apple, will also not see one of its key iPhone plants based in the central city of Zhengzhou restart work on Monday, the report added.
Foxconn could see a "big" production impact and shipments to customers including Apple face disruption if a Chinese factory halt due to the coronavirus outbreak extends into a second week, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters earlier this week.
Foxconn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The death toll from the virus in mainland China rose by 86 to 722 on Saturday, according to authorities, and is poised to pass the 774 deaths recorded globally during the 2002-2003 pandemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), another coronavirus that jumped from animals to humans in China.
(Reporting by Akshay Balan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Neil Fullick)