China has ordered a seven-day lockdown of the area around Foxconn Technology Group’s main plant in Zhengzhou, a move that will severely curtail shipments in and out of the world’s largest iPhone factory.

The lockdown will last until 9 November, the local government said in a statement posted to its WeChat account.

The abrupt action reflects Beijing’s Covid Zero approach to stamping out outbreaks and is likely to further disrupt Foxconn’s main operations base.

The Taiwanese company, whose main listed arm is Hon Hai Precision Industry, is grappling with a Covid flare-up that forced some of its 200 000 staff into quarantine and pushed others to flee the facility — some on foot.

The company has scrambled to mitigate the potential disruption, raising wages and arranging for backup from its other Chinese plants should assembly lines stall in Zhengzhou.

In recent days, it’s fought also to quell speculation on social media that some of the infected staff had died.  — Bloomberg