World Health Organization recently upgraded the status of the Coronavirus to a global health emergency. Following the situation, are government-imposed travel bans in effect to prevent the virus from spreading. Company offices, events, and stores in China are closing down without further notice on when they will reopen. The effects are not just felt in China, but many countries around the world are also suffering because of the virus outbreak. The tech industry is one of the few sectors affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. Just because there are no confirmed cases in your country does not mean you are not affected in any way.
TRADE SHOWS AND CONVENTIONS ARE AT RISK
Your favorite tech trade shows pose the number one risk as these shows gather hundreds to thousands of people – A perfect venue to spread the virus. Take the Mobile World Congress, for example. Many companies have pulled out due to the nCov-19 threat. The companies themselves are not China-based, but these companies don’t want to risk the health of their employees. The cancellation of LG, Ericsson, Nvidia, Intel, Sony, Amazon, and HMD left the show floor almost empty and caused the organizers to cancel the event.
“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event. The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision. The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions. Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.” -John Hoffman, GSMA CEO
Samsung’s Unpacked 2020 launch almost got canceled in light of the coronavirus issue. Fortunately, Samsung’s event pushed through, and we were able to cover the new S20 series and Galaxy Z Flip. Other popular shows such as Taiwan’s Computex 2019 and Los Angeles’ E3 are at similar risk of getting canceled.
EVENTS and TOURNAMENTS
Launch events and gaming tournaments are also victims of the coronavirus outbreak. Events, where there are confirmed cases or quarantines, pose a high risk of infection regardless of the safety measures implemented by the government or the event organizer. Tournaments are at higher risk due to the players coming from different countries.
Predator League 2020 Asia Finals is supposed to take place this February 19 to February 23, 2020. Acer and TNC events decided to postpone the tournament for the welfare of its players, staff, and audience. Asia has the highest concentration of Coronavirus confirmed cases, China excluded. With the tournament being a regional final, there are a lot of transmission points for players to get infected, from airports, hotels, and the venue itself.
E-COMMERCE and LOGISTICS
If you’re an avid online shopper, chances are you’ve probably ordered something from China. Many E-Commerce platforms, such as Amazon, Lazada, and Gearbest, have items coming from China. With the Coronavirus issue, the workforce of freight companies is significantly reduced. Employees are too scared to work because of the high chance of infection when going outside. Many companies have extended their lunar new year break due to the Coronavirus issue.
Moreover, shipment cargos are placed in quarantine for safety measures. Quarantines last almost more than 14-days to ensure that its crew is not infected. Expect your packages to be delayed by weeks, or worse, months. B2B operations are also crippled. Expect little-to-no stocks of your China-made items until the Coronavirus issue is contained.
FACTORY AND PRODUCTION
Memory brands, such as Adata, expect DRAM and NAND flash prices to rise after the containment of the Coronavirus. The outbreak causes some factories unable to operate at full capacity. As many products are manufactured in China, it’s only a matter of time until we reach a scarcity of tech products. Many parts of the production process could be a point of failure from the refinement of raw materials to the actual product assembly. Materials are transported from one factory to another, which only increases the risk of contamination. So far, companies have taken sanitary measures to ensure the safety of their workers.