(Natural News) Thanks to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus, which originated in the central city of Wuhan, production at Apple’s China-based slave labor factories where workers are paid the U.S. equivalent of less than two dollars per day could tank.
As reported by Bloomberg News on Tuesday, nearly all of Apple’s iPhones are made in China and primarily by Foxconn’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. These are manufactured at the firm’s so-called iPhone City in Zhengzhou, as well as by the Pegatron Corp. at a site near the city of Shanghai.
Each of these locations is more than 300 miles from the epicenter of the epidemic in Wuhan, but the plants could nevertheless feel the effects as the disease spreads throughout China.
“I can’t imagine a scenario where the supply chain isn’t disrupted,” according to industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy, in an interview with Bloomberg. “If there’s one major hiccup in the raw materials, fabrication, assembly, test, and shipping, it will be a disruption.”
Another analyst, Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities, told the financial news services that the technology behemoth could be in big-time trouble if Foxconn employees as well as workers at other manufacturing hubs are quarantined or otherwise restricted from travel.
“If the China outbreak becomes more spread it could negatively impact the supply chain which would be a major investor worry,” Ives said.
As of today, Apple has roughly 10,000 employees in China across retail and corporate entities, Bloomberg reported.
“Its supply chain partners employ a few million more individuals whose job is to manufacture products including the iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch,” Breitbart News added.
Foxconn and Apple are both said to be monitoring the situation with the spread of Coronavirus and are following all recommended health policies and practices.
“We can confirm that we have measures in place to ensure that we can continue to meet all global manufacturing obligations,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg News. (Related: China engaging in massive cover-up of Coronavirus deaths while the world edges closer to plague-like catastrophe.)
China likely underreporting the casualty figures
Breitbart noted further:
Apple implemented a redundancy policy in 2011 requiring that major components be dual-sourced both in terms of geography and vendors, Bloomberg reported. The policy was put in place following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.
But since the majority of its assembly work is done in China, Apple could experience a direct impact on shipments if there is a shortage of workers.
As of Tuesday, the Chinese government said that officially Coronavirus infections had reached 4,500 people, with 106 deaths.
But it’s becoming clearer that the government is underestimating the actual number of infections and, perhaps, deaths.
The Epoch Times reported, “The outbreak of Wuhan coronavirus is far bigger than the official figures released by Chinese public health authorities who cover up the severity by limiting the number of diagnosis kits to Wuhan hospitals.”
The news organization cited an anonymous independent journalist, who in turn received information from a Chinese government insider, that Beijing’s health authorities are only providing diagnostic kits to “qualifying hospitals,” and only then in extremely limited quantities.
As reported by Natural News founder and editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger reports, that “means the official numbers from the Chinese government are likely just one-tenth the actual numbers.”
A team of researchers from Hong Kong University made an even more dire prediction this week: That by May of this year, it’s possible that Chinese health officials will face a staggering 150,000 new cases of Coronavirus each day. That number of infected would obviously overwhelm “every laboratory, hospital, and health care clinic in the entire country,” Adams noted.
Already, the Chinese government has ordered schools closed until March to prevent the virus’ further spread. If the disease begins to affect Apple’s production, that means the virus will inhibit the production of other goods, lending itself to a cascade effect that could spell the end of the world’s economic order.