Shanghai on Saturday issued an executive order allowing local factories to resume production – which had been halted in recent days due to a citywide Chinese coronavirus lockdown – as long as “workers live on site”, l Chinese state-owned enterprise world times reported Sunday.
The Shanghai Municipal Economic Commission issued the back-to-work notice on April 16 and included specific anti-epidemic guidelines for all governments and district authorities to follow when resuming operations at factories in Shanghai. Shanghai.
“Companies should formulate closed-loop management plans, where workers live on site and are tested regularly. They must also request permission to restart production with COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] supervisory authorities at the district and city levels,” the press release read.
While the world times reported that the Shanghai government issued the back-to-work order on April 16, a separate report from China’s state-run news agency (Xinhua) suggested the order was issued some time earlier. Xinhua revealed on April 17 that at least one of Shanghai’s major manufacturers, Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc., had already resumed limited operations on April 15.
“Quanta Shanghai Manufacturing City on Friday [April 15] resumed production with around 2,000 staff working under closed management,” the news agency reported, referring to the “city” or Quanta’s manufacturing base in Shanghai’s Songjiang district.
“Production at the F1 and F3 factories, which make laptops for Apple and accessories for Tesla, respectively, is now underway,” Xinhua reported.
Quanta’s factory base in Shanghai comprises eight factories and more than 40,000 employees.
SAIC Motor, China’s largest automaker, planned to restart production at its Shanghai manufacturing facility on April 18, according to the world times. SAIC Motor is the Chinese partner of German automaker Volkswagen and US automaker General Motors.
US electric vehicle company Tesla Inc. “began preparing to reopen its Shanghai factories on Monday [April 18]“, reported Reuters.
“Tesla has recalled workers to its factory to prepare for the restart,” the news agency revealed, citing accounts from two unnamed company sources.
The sources told Reuters that “while the U.S. automaker originally planned to resume a production shift on Monday [April 18] he was now looking to do it on Tuesday [April 19] …because a supplier was having logistical problems.
the world times on April 17 acknowledged that the resumption of factories in Shanghai would only allow limited production capacities. The Communist Party-run newspaper admitted that this was not only due to the limited number of workers allowed to return to work at the sites, but also to the “logistical” problems that Tesla alluded to on April 18.
“For any manufacturer planning to return to work in Shanghai, if they cannot access a rapid supply of upstream components and raw materials, simply gathering workers into the factory area will not be enough to back to operational normal,” the publication observed. .
“[L]Logistics remains a serious problem for many factories near Shanghai and along the Yangtze River Delta, and this will block the transportation of some raw materials to Shanghai, preventing production capacity from being fully restored,” a parts supplier Shanghai-based automakers identified only by his surname, Zhang, said the world times on Sunday.
Shanghai is the main financial center of China. The city is home to both the world’s busiest shipping container port and hundreds of manufacturing plants run by multinational corporations. All of Shanghai’s roughly 26 million residents have been locked down to contain the city’s latest Chinese coronavirus outbreak since April 5.
Southeast China’s tech hub Shenzhen, which shares a border with Hong Kong, also only allowed some factories to resume production in mid-March during a citywide lockdown. if they practiced so-called “closed-loop management”. This meant asking workers to “eat, sleep and work in bubbles isolated from the rest of the world, sterilizing premises up to three times a day and testing for COVID. [Chinese coronavirus] daily,” Reuters reported on March 17.
“Apple’s supplier Foxconn said it was able to restart some production at its campus in Shenzhen’s southern technology hub after making such an arrangement,” the news agency had confirmed. at the time.
“Foxconn said it could only enforce the bubble on campuses that included both employee housing and production facilities,” Reuters noted.
China’s ruling Communist Party has sadly treated factory workers in the country’s westernmost region, Xinjiang, as the majority of these workers are members of the Central Asian Uyghur ethnic group. The Uyghurs are a predominantly Sunni, Turkish-speaking Muslim minority. The group, along with similar ethnic minorities in Xinjiang such as Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, have been forced to work in factories in Xinjiang under forced labor conditions since at least 2017, and many have been routed to other work forced into factories located in major Chinese cities. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute reported on the phenomenon in a March 2020 analysis titled “Uyghurs for Sale”.
“[L]local governments and private brokers are paid per head by the Xinjiang provincial government to arrange labor assignments [for Uyghurs, Kazakhs, or Kyrgyz people]“, revealed the report.
“A 2019 local government work report reads: ‘For every lot [of workers] who is trained, a job lot will be arranged and a lot will be transferred. Employed persons must receive thorough ideological training and remain in their jobs,” according to the institute.