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TAIPEI: Apple supplier Foxconn expects its COVID-hit Zhengzhou plant in China to resume full production around late December to early January, a Foxconn source said on Monday, after worker unrest disrupted the world’s biggest iPhone factory.

The Zhengzhou plant has been grappling with strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fuelled discontent among workers over conditions at the factory.

Production of the Apple device was disrupted ahead of Christmas and January’s Lunar New Year holidays, with many workers either having to isolate to combat the spread of the virus or fleeing the plant.

“The capacity is now being gradually resumed” with new staff hiring under way, said the person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The person declined to the named as the information was private. “If the recruitment goes smoothly, it could take around three to four weeks to resume full production,” the person said, pointing to a period around late December to early January.

Foxconn and the local government are working hard on the recruitment drive but many uncertainties remain, according to the source.

The person cited “fears” some workers might have about working for the company after the plant was hit by protests last month that sometimes turned violent.

Reactions to Apple supplier Foxconn’s labour unrest

“We are firing on all cylinders on the recruitment,” the person said.

Foxconn declined to comment. Shares of Foxconn were up 0.5% on Monday morning, in line with the 0.6% rise in the broader market.

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