Quick news wrap: Coronavirus-hit factories coming back online in China

As the number of cases in China drop, its factories are slowly getting back to work

Vaughn Cook RockWell Window Wells
Editorial Team
March 5, 2020

We’ve been closely following news of the coronavirus outbreak in China. As we enter March, the good news is that the number of new infections in China has dropped because of the government’s aggressive measures to contain the outbreak, and the country is slowly getting back to work.

A few news articles talk about how Chinese factories are attempting to get back online. Given the level of interest in the subject in our industry, we thought it might be a good idea to share some here.

1. 'One worker at a time, virus-hit China's factories sputter back online'

Date: March 1, 2020

This piece by the international news agency AFP (Agence France-Presse) uses the example of one factory in the commercial hub of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province to talk about how Chinese factories are getting back to work but haven’t started manufacturing at full capacity yet because several workers haven’t been able to start work due to coronavirus-related travel and quarantine restrictions. The report has quoted Sourcing Allies’ China manager Chris Schell, who is based at our office in Ningbo, as saying that he expects “only a temporary impact as Beijing ramps up policy supports and as Chinese manufacturers continue a long-term climb up the value chain.”


2. 'As New Coronavirus Cases Slow In China, Factories Start Reopening'

Date: February 29, 2020

This article by the American non-profit media organization NPR (National Public Radio) talks about the steps factories are taking to kickstart production on their floors. It says: “Local governments are chartering buses for workers. Some companies are buying out entire hotels to house quarantined staff. A temporarily shuttered movie studio is even loaning employees to factories that are short on labor.”


3. In other news, Tim Cook says Apple is reopening factories as China gets ‘coronavirus under control and the CEO of the National retail Federation in America Matthew Shay has said that supply chains are starting to come back online in China. Shay was quoted as saying that “a number of the larger companies have started to indicate that the signs that they’re getting from the Chinese market is some of the production is coming back online.”

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