News & Events

IC, auto makers among first in Shanghai to resume operations

More than 600 businesses in Shanghai, primarily IC and auto makers, are resuming operations under the municipality's approval after days of COVID lockdown. TSMC said its Songjiang plant had not halted operations during the lockdown despite some misleading reports.

The megacity went into a lockdown about three weeks ago, dealing another blow to electronics and auto supply chains that had been disrupted by the persisting COVID-19. On April 16, the city government issued guidelines for businesses to resume production and activities.

Under the municipality's five principles, business operators are required to formulate pandemic control and closed-loop management plans, implement site-specific regulations for different zones, strengthen personnel and logistics management, prepare strategic materials and emergency response plans. The guidelines do not designate any time frames.

Drivers and passengers of delivery vehicles in the city must have negative PCR result reports obtained within 48 hours or negative antigen reports obtained within 24 hours, the guidelines stipualte.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has dispatched a task mission to the city to help "666 core businesses" restore operations; the 666 businesses are mainly those in the IC, automaking, equipment making, and biomedicine industries, China Business Network reported.

Some Chinese media reports said TSMC was among the 666 businesses, but the Taiwan-based chip maker said its plant in Songjiang had not suspended operations, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported on April 17.

Taiwan-based Quanta Computer, which has eight plants and more than 40,000 employees at its manufacturing center in Shanghai, said about 2,000 workers making vehicle parts and PC parts will return to work first, China's Global Times reported.

SAIC Motor, China's largest automaker, plans to trial restarting production in Shanghai from April 18, the report said.

"If the metropolis of 25 million residents can figure out ways to minimize the economic impact of anti-epidemic measures, the experience may apply to other cities across the country and will be of great significance to China's overall epidemic control and economic development in the future," the Global Times said, citing anonymous observers.

Tesla is also preparing to resume production at its Shanghai plant on April 18, while it is set to release its first-quarter 2022 performance on April 20, according to foreign media reports.

The electric carmaker's Shanghai plant, its first outside the US, has had output suspended for almost three weeks. At a run rate of about 2,100 cars a day, that would be around 39,900 units lost since the lines fell silent on March 28, said a report by Bloomberg.

Apparently, Shanghai is still struggling with the pandemic. It remains to be seen whether the municipality's "dynamic zero-COVID" scheme will be effective and whether manufacturing and logistics activities can return to normal operations.