Effects of CoronaVirus on Tech Companies
Coronavirus has affected the tech industry in a big way.
China is the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones, computers, and televisions, with over $2.01 trillion. This is followed by the United States ($1.867 trillion), Japan ($1.063 trillion), Germany ($700 billion), and South Korea ($372 billion).
Productivity has been affected greatly as offices and factories have halted operations across the nation. Below is a photo provided by Chen Yanxi, a nearly-deserted expressway is seen in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.
Analyst says that the global tech supply could be greatly affected, depending on how quickly the virus will continue to spread. Supply-chain analytics provider TrendForce has provided a report assessing the likely impact of the 2019-nCoV outbreak on tech manufacturing.
Smartphones, monitors, TVs, Video Game Consoles, Smart Speakers and automobile production is projected to decline.
Coronavirus has infected more than 75,000 people since it was first reported in late 2019, resulting in at least 2000 deaths. Below is its comparison with previous global outbreaks.
Many tech companies, like Facebook, Apple, Google, Foxconn, Airbnb, Uber, Tesla, Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft have been affected by this outbreak.
Although Facebook does not have offices in China, it also warned employees against nonessential travels to the country. Facebook has also halted taking new orders for its latest Oculus Quest VR handset, citing the outbreak of Corona Virus for the delay.
Facebook has also canceled a marketing summit scheduled for early March, which was expected to draw 4,000 people. “Our priority is the health and safety of our teams, so out of an abundance of caution, we canceled our Global Marketing Summit due to evolving public health risks related to coronavirus,” said Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison. The cancellation was earlier reported by Reuters
Google announced on January 29, that it’s temporarily shutting down all its offices in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan due to health threats. The search giant has also placed business travel restrictions to China and Hong Kong.
Google has also told its employees in China and those with immediate family members returning from china to from home for at least 14 days. Google mainly focuses on sales and engineering in china for its advertising business.
Google also has a strong presence in China with regards to its hardware efforts, as many Google product teams responsible for devices like Pixel phones and Google Home speakers work with Chinese suppliers and factories for manufacturing.
On February 17, 2020, Apple said it would miss its quarterly revenue guidance because of the effects of the outbreak of COVID-19. Apple has also temporarily shut down its corporate offices and contact centers in China. All six Apple stores are open in Hong Kong, and also its online store in china remains open.
Apple does not only has suppliers in the Wuhan area but also has alternative sources for the components they provide. The company said that it’s working on mitigation plans to make up any expected production loss.
Foxconn has told its employees not to come back to work at its offices in Shenzhen, China, until further notice. The iPhone manufacturer is now working “to safeguard everyone’s health and safety and comply with government virus prevention measures,” Bloomberg reported Feb. 7, citing an internal memo.
“We urge you not to return to Shenzhen,” Foxconn reportedly said in a text message to employees. Foxconn didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Airbnb said it would offer guests and hosts affected by coronavirus a chance to cancel reservations without penalty. The policy applies to hosts or guests in Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located, with reservations up to April 1, 2020, as well as any guests already staying in Hubei.
Bloomberg reported that Uber temporarily deactivated 240 customer accounts in Mexico to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Uber said it suspended customers who had traveled with two drivers who had suspected contact with the coronavirus. The country’s health officials confirmed an Uber driver had given a ride to a passenger from Los Angeles who was infected with the virus, based on information from US health officials. The man spent two days in Mexico City but didn’t display symptoms until returning to the US, according to La Silla Rota.
Alibaba says virus is changing buying patterns: Food delivery is up, clothing and electronics are going down.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. cautioned that the coronavirus responsible for killing more than 1,300 people in China is exerting a huge impact on the country’s consumers and merchants, and will hurt its revenue growth in the current quarter.
Alibaba, the first major Chinese technology corporation to report results since the epidemic emerged in January, said the virus is undermining production in the economy because many workers can’t get to or perform their jobs. It has also changed buying patterns with consumers pulling back on discretionary spending, including travel and restaurants.
Aljazeera reported that the Chinese e-commerce giant made the comments after reporting strong financial results for the quarter that ended in December. Revenue surged a better-than-expected 38% to 161.5 billion yuan ($23.1 billion), while net income rose 58% to 52.3 billion yuan.
Many merchants that work with the company have not been able to return to normal operations because of a shortage of employees. Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares slid as much as 2.4% Thursday morning.
Now remote work apps are such as DingTalk, Lark and WeChat Work having a boom as millions are confined to working from home.
The online education sector is experiencing a similar uptick as schools nationwide are suspended, according to data from research firm Sensor Tower.
Rankings of downloads compiled by Sensor Tower show that all three apps experienced significant year-over-year growth in downloads from January 22 through February 20, though their user bases vary greatly:
WeChat Work: 572%
These are just some of the ways the Corona Virus has affected Tech companies all over the world.