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Taiwan firms in China hub make uneven restart

Taiwan firms making chip and electronic components reported a mixed picture on work resumption in the eastern Chinese city of Kunshan after COVID curbs, with some warning deliveries would be postponed. China has put Shanghai under a tight lockdown since late March and neighbouring Kunshan has also tightened curbs to control the country’s biggest outbreak since the coronavirus was discovered in late 2019 in the city of Wuhan.

That had caused dozens of Taiwanese firms, many making parts for the semiconductor and electronics industries, to suspend operations. Global companies, from makers of mobile phones to chips, are highly dependent on China and Southeast Asia for production and have been diversifying their supply chains after the pandemic caused havoc. Chip substrate and printed circuit board maker Unimicron Technology Corp said its Kunshan plant was gradually resuming operations. Unimicron, which supplies Apple Inc and Intel Corp, said in a statement to the Taipei stock exchange that the factory had suspended production from April 2 to 19.

It added it was gradually resuming work depending on local personnel and logistics conditions. However, Asia Electronic Material Co Ltd, which makes parts for laptops, mobile phones and digital cameras, said its plant in Kunshan would continue to be closed. It added that it had applied for government permission to be allowed to resume work and that it had been given permission to deliver goods and would do so from current stocks. The company added that it is estimated that some orders will be postponed. Flexible printed circuit maker Complex Micro Interconnection Co Ltd said that it too saw some deliveries not happening until next month, adding it would look at the detailed rules and apply to resume production.

Bike maker Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd said that its Kunshan electric bike operations remained closed, adding its workers would put in overtime to catch up once it’s allowed to re-open. Speaking to reporters in Taipei, Taiwan Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said Taiwanese companies were slowly resuming production in China, but there were still logistics problems. Certainly, on the impact for supply chains there is a lot of uncertainty. Cheng Ping, CEO of Delta Electronics Inc, a supplier of power components to companies such as Apple and Tesla Inc, was quoted in Taiwan media. At present the orders are all in hand, and customers are in a hurry, pressing them every day. Still, the production resumption news cheered Unimicron’s shares, which ended the day up 4.51%, outperforming the broader index which closed up 0.91%.

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