Two weeks after a fatal explosion, it's business as usual at Foxconn's factory in Chengdu.
After an explosion in a Chinese factory that makes iPads for Apple (AAPL) killed three workers and injured 15 more, one analyst estimated that Apple's quarterly iPad production numbers might fall by as much as 2.8 million units -- speculation that helped drive the company's shares down more than 1.5% that day.
Two weeks later, it's clear that those fears were overblown. According to the Wall Street Journal, the affected plants in Chengdu were restarted Thursday, two weeks to the day after the explosion. Susquehanna's Jeff Fidacaro, who had earlier estimated that the accident might cut into Apple's production by 200,000 to 500,000 units, issued a report to clients suggesting that by shifting work to other facilities and stepping up overtime, Foxconn -- which owns the factory-- would have made up the difference by the end of June. He's now conservatively estimating that Apple will ship 7.5 million iPads this quarter. Other analysts put that number as high as 10 million, more than twice the 4.7 million iPads Apple sold last quarter.
Meanwhile, the Chengdu plant is not without its problems. M.I.C. Gadget, the Chinese blog that broke the news of the explosion, reports that a young Foxconn worker died last week after jumping out of fifth-floor dormitory window. In a three-month period last spring, nine Foxconn workers leaped to their death from their dorms at Foxconn's factory city in Shenzhen.
It's the 14th at a Hon Hai plant so far this year, according to Chinese labor groups
Reuters reports that a 23-year-old Foxconn employee was found dead outside a dormitory in the company's Shenzhen factory complex Friday morning.
Foxconn is describing the young man's death as a suicide -- the 14th so far this year according to a count maintained by Chinese labor rights groups.
Foxconn, a publicly traded subsidiary of Taiwan's Hon MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 5, 2010 8:34 AM ET
Foxconn's production rate is one of many revelations in a new profile of its chairman
"I should be honest with you," Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou told Bloomberg Businessweek on the subject of the suicides at his company's massive factory complex in Shenzhen, China. "The first one, second one, and third one, I did not see this as a serious problem. We had around 800,000 employees, and here MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 10, 2010 11:16 AM ET
A flurry of public relations activity in China after the ninth fatal fall this year
[UPDATE: A tenth Hon Hai employee -- a 23-year-old man -- jumped to his death from the seventh floor of a workers dormitory only hours after Hon Hai executives took journalists on an unprecedented tour of one of their plants and promised to outfit the dorms with safety nets.]
Terry Gou, the Taiwanese tycoon who founded Hon MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 26, 2010 7:15 AM ET
Much has been written -- especially in China -- about the case of Sun Danyong, the 25-year-old Foxconn employee who jumped to his death from a 12th-story apartment in Shenzhen two weeks ago after being interrogated about a missing next-generation iPhone prototype.
The story cast a harsh light on working conditions at Foxconn -- the brand name of Taiwan-based Hon Hai, one of the world's largest manufacturers of computer components -- MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 27, 2009 7:17 AM ET
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