Huawei, Chinese Chip Makers Keep Factories Humming Despite Virus Outbreak

Some technology firms in China have maintained operations to manufacture parts and products despite government calls in various cities and provinces for companies to halt work to help stop the spread of a new coronavirus, Reuters reported.

Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said on Monday it had resumed production of goods including consumer devices and carrier equipment, and operations were running normally.

The company restarted manufacturing after the Lunar New Year holiday in line with a special exemption that allows certain critical industries to remain in operation, despite Beijing’s call to halt all work in some cities and provinces.

The spokesman said most of the production was in Dongguan, a city in the southern province of Guangdong.

Other companies have also kept production running, in some cases even through the New Year, in a sign of the critical importance Beijing places on its domestic tech supply chain, a subject of friction with the United States, Reuters adds.

Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd (YMTC), a state-backed maker of flash memory chips based in Wuhan – the city where the virus outbreak began – confirmed that it had not ceased production.

“At present, production and operations at YMTC are proceeding normally and in an orderly manner,” a company spokesman wrote in a statement.

The spokesman said no employees had been confirmed as infection cases, and the company had enacted certain isolation measures and partitions to ensure the safety of employees.

State media reported that the chipmaker did not cease operations over the Lunar New Year holiday. Meanwhile, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (0981.HK) (SMIC) also kept production running through the holiday break.

In a post on social media, the company said it organized a workgroup before the holiday to ensure plants could stay open while protecting the safety of employees and adhering to government regulations.

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