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Phone shortages could get worse as Foxconn halts Shenzhen operation

Green Galaxy S22 and iPhone 13
Green Galaxy S22 and iPhone 13 (Image credit: Samsung, Apple)

What you need to know

  • Foxconn has suspended its production in Shenzhen after authorities placed the city under lockdown along with Shanghai.
  • The new restrictions are expected to deal another major blow to the global supply chain.
  • Authorities ordered the suspension of non-essential businesses until March 20.

The smartphone industry is already taking a hit from the ongoing chip shortage (opens in new tab), causing delays in the shipment of many of the best Android phones (opens in new tab). As if that weren't enough, the global supply chain is about to get even worse.

Foxconn, among other manufacturers operating in Shenzhen, has been forced to halt production in the city amid the rising COVID-19 cases, according to Nikkei Asia (opens in new tab). China has placed the city under lockdown from Monday through March 20.

The lockdown means all nonessential businesses will temporarily stop operations, except for pharmacies, medical institutions, and other essential businesses. China has so far reported 60 locally transmitted coronavirus cases in Shenzhen and 64 in Shanghai, Nikkei reported.

China has also halted public transportation in the city and is requiring around 17 million residents to undergo PCR tests as it combats the spread of the virus.

Shenzhen is home to Foxconn's second-largest manufacturing operation in China. The electronics giant is also among the major suppliers to tech giants such as Apple, Intel, Nvidia, and Samsung.

General Interface Solution Holding, which supplies touch panels to Samsung, and Unimicron, which builds printed circuit boards, are also halting operations in Shenzhen.

The lockdown affects Foxconn's operations at its Longhua and Guanlan factories. Both Huawei and Oppo have their headquarters in Shenzhen as well.

IDC reported last year that the global smartphone market fell 6.7% (opens in new tab) in the third quarter of 2021 due to the chip shortage.

The latest restrictions have raised concerns that they will result in yet another massive blow to smartphone inventories.

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.