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4 Feb 2020


China: Technology firms maintain manufacturing operations despite government calls for companies to halt work to stop coronavirus spread

“Huawei, Chinese chip makers keep factories humming despite virus outbreak”, 3 February

Some technology firms in China have maintained operations to manufacture parts and products despite government calls in various cities and provinces for companies to halt work to help stop the spread of a new coronavirus.

Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said… it had resumed production of goods including consumer devices and carrier equipment, and operations were running normally.

The company restarted manufacturing after the Lunar New Year holiday in line with a special exemption that allows certain critical industries to remain in operation, despite Beijing’s call to halt all work in some cities and provinces.

The spokesman said most of the production was in a city in the southern province of Guangdong…

Other companies have also kept production running, in some cases even through the New Year, in a sign of the critical importance Beijing places on its domestic tech supply chain…

Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd (YMTC), a state-backed maker of flash memory chips based in Wuhan - the city where the virus outbreak began - confirmed that it had not ceased production.

“At present, production and operations at YMTC are proceeding normally and in an orderly manner,” a company spokesman wrote in a statement.

The spokesman said no employees had been confirmed as infection cases, and the company had enacted certain isolation measures and partitions to ensure the safety of employees…

Meanwhile, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp… also kept production running through the holiday break.

In a post on social media, the company said it organized a work group before the holiday to ensure plants could stay open, while protecting the safety of employees and adhering to government regulations…

Nina Kao, TSMC’s [Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co] spokeswoman, told Reuters that the company currently “maintains partial operation” in China and it plans to resume full operation on Feb 10.

TCL Corp, makers of display panels and televisions, said… that while the lines at its China Star Optoelectronics Technology Unit (CSOT) for LCD screens “operate non-stop all-year round,” its Wuhan factories can expect delays in manufacturing materials supply.

BOE Technology Group Co Ltd, another Chinese maker of displays, told state media outlet Global Times that one of its plants at Wuhan had encountered a supply shortage due to amid the virus.

Research firm TrendForce, which tracks the global memory sector, reported that plants at Changxin Memory Technologies Co Ltd (CXMT), based in a city close to Wuhan, and Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, another memory company based in Wuhan, were continuing their operations.

The two companies did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

Overseas parts makers with factories in China have also continued production.

Samsung Electronics… has not seen a production disruption at its chip factory in Xi’an despite the coronavirus outbreak, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters…

A Samsung Electronics representative confirmed that the plant had been running as usual, saying production had not stopped during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Representatives of Samsung Display, SK Hynix and LG Display also said they were running their Chinese factories as usual…

Part of the following timelines

China: Business action and alleged inaction in response to spread of novel coronavirus 2020

Impacts of COVID-19 on supply chain workers in the electronics sector