Smell complaints disrupt Apple supplier factory operations

18 October 2011

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18 October 2011 | Angeline Albert

CatcherTechnology has partially shut a plant in China and told Apple to change its procurement plans after residents complained about a strange odour coming from the factory.

The Taiwanese firm which mainly produces metal casings for Apple’sMacBook Air and smartphones, said shipments to its customers will be affected.

Catcher, whose major customers include HTC Corp, shut part of its factory in Suzhou city, eastern China this week, after residents complained to the local government about the smell at the plant.

Catcher president Allen Horng said: “Shipments to our customers will inevitably be affected. We already asked them to make adjustments to their (casings) procurement.”

Horng said he didn’t know when the plant would resume full operations, which requires an inspection by the local government.

He said Catcher’s total shipments will fall by 20 per cent in October and by as much as 40 per cent in November if the disruption to operations continues. 

Catcher and Foxconn Technology are the two major producers of metal casings for mobile electronic goods. It is therefore expected that Apple may switch orders from Catcher to Foxconn.

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