Skip to main content

Demand for iPhone 5, iPad mini keeps Foxconn plants open for Chinese New Year

The global demand for iPhones and iPads could put a damper on some Foxconn workers' Chinese New Year celebrations.

According to a translated Taiwanese United Daily News article, Hon Hai (aka Foxconn) and at least one other company will remain partially open during the Chinese New Year in order to continue production of the iPhone 5 and iPad mini.

Printed circuit board supplier FLEXium Interconnect will have a number of trained students working in its plant in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province through the Chinese New Year, which begins on 10 February and lasts for 15 days. There are no specifics about which Foxconn factories will be open.

As Forbes pointed out, the Chinese New Year usually brings manufacturing to a standstill in the region, with workers staying home to celebrate with family and exchange gifts. But this year, popular Apple products, which have faced backlogs in recent years, are taking precedence.

Apple, Foxconn, and FLEXium Interconnect did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The iPhone 5 launched in September, one month before Apple's tiny tablet hit shelves.

This isn't the first time Foxconn has kept employees busy during a Chinese holiday. Thousands of workers at the company's Zhengzhou factory reportedly went on strike in October amidst overly burdensome quality control for Apple's new smartphone, which resulted in demands that people work during China's National Day.

Foxconn has faced scrutiny for some time now. Earlier this year, Apple commissioned the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to investigate reports of abuse at Foxconn facilities. The group found incidents of excessive overtime and unsafe working conditions.

The contract manufacturer pledged to make changes and recent reports indicate that Foxconn is instigating a number of reforms in the coming months.