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Coronavirus Impacting Tech Industry: Samsung, Foxconn Factories Closed, Travel Restricted

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The year has barely started and it looks like the Coronavirus is already starting to have a deep impact on the global industry. In tech it's also hitting hard, with various factories in China being forced to close by the government and western companies restricting travel.

For the sake of global and local health, the Chinese government has placed travel restrictions on the city of Wuhan, restricting the movement of people and goods in order to attempt to gain control over the situation. Affected individuals are more strictly quarantined, with strict rules and fines in place to prevent further spread of the disease.

Naturally, with such strict restriction of movement, an effect is bound to be felt in industries. As reported by Zerohedge, the Chinese government has decided to order the closure of the Foxconn and Samsung factories for the next one to two weeks.

In these areas of manufacturing hubs and the city of Wuhan, the local economy is also slowing due to fears of going to restaurants and bars.

Occurring directly after the Chinese new year, some analysts fear that the extended delay in production may just trigger a recession.

Nevertheless, according to MarketWatch, the downtime in China's production may be good for US-based memory producers “With the shutdown of fabs during Chinese New Year this weekend and the impact of the Coronavirus quarantine in Wuhan, any disruption or delay of semi cap equipment support/installs could be negative for equipment suppliers, while any disruption in memory output (if the epidemic worsens after the holiday break) could be positive for memory suppliers outside of China such as Micron, Western Digital and others,” Vijay Rakesh, an analyst at Mizuho, told MarketWatch.

Meanwhile, The Verge also reports that Facebook, Razer and LG are restricting employee travel to China due to the virus. Any Facebook employees returning from China, either for work or personal travel, have been asked to work from home, as reported by Bloomberg.

Exactly how far-reaching the economic effects of the virus will be remains difficult to say, but each day that goes by where more people get infected causes further economic slowdown. 

At the time of writing, the death count due to the Coronavirus is at 106 (as reported by the BBC), with the majority occurring in the city of Wuhan, where the epidemic has started. There is currently no known cure for the Coronavirus, though the first victims are said to be elderly or with pre-existing respiratory problems. Currently, there are over 4500 confirmed cases in China alone. Figures elsewhere in the world remain scarce.

  • bit_user
    I wonder how long the virus can remain viable on hard surfaces. It would be awful if the virus could spread on packaged products made in factories populated by infected workers.

    Of course, I'm sure the main concern with factories is just the risk of contagion between workers.
    Reply
  • Matt_ogu812
    Merely another exercise for the up and coming equivalent to the "Black Death" that originated in China. Or so the history books tell us.
    Real pandemics won't be known until it's at its peak which won't be known until it subsides.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Matt_ogu812 said:
    Real pandemics won't be known until it's at its peak which won't be known until it subsides.
    Huh? In fact, a pandemic can be declared while it's happening, and even before it peaks.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandemic#Definition_and_stages
    Reply
  • Matt_ogu812
    bit_user said:
    Huh? In fact, a pandemic can be declared while it's happening, and even before it peaks.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandemic#Definition_and_stages

    Huh back at ya!
    The 1918 flu was pandemic and claimed millions of lives. Not this media hype that's going on.
    Worldwide there are now more than 6,000 cases and 132 deaths, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
    While the majority of cases center in China, it has been found in the U.S. and these countries: Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Macau, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, France, Canada, Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia, Germany and United Arab Emirates. There have been no deaths outside China.
    A far cry from the millions that died during the 1918 flu.
    Like I said: "Real pandemics won't be known until it's at its peak which won't be known until it subsides"
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Matt_ogu812 said:
    Huh back at ya!
    The 1918 flu was pandemic and claimed millions of lives.
    What does that have to do with deciding whether Corona Virus is a pandemic?

    A pandemic is an epidemic occurring on a scale which crosses international boundaries, usually affecting a large number of people.

    An epidemic is the rapid spread of infectious disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time, usually two weeks or less. ... The declaration of an epidemic usually requires a good understanding of a baseline rate of incidence; epidemics for certain diseases, such as influenza, are defined as reaching some defined increase in incidence above this baseline.

    The definition does not involve a peak - just the rate at which the disease is spreading.

    Matt_ogu812 said:
    Like I said: "Real pandemics won't be known until it's at its peak which won't be known until it subsides"
    Epidemiology is an entire field of study devoted to modeling, estimating, and projecting the spread of diseases. Given relatively few parameters about a disease, epidemiologists can estimate the scale of an epidemic. You don't have to wait for it to peak, before having a pretty good idea of a disease's potential.

    Matt_ogu812 said:
    Not this media hype that's going on.
    Well, the media hype is driven by a couple things. First, China is taking very draconian measures to try and contain the spread of the disease. You basically have several major cities the size of New York or London that are on lock-down. Plus, major travel restrictions being enforced by foreign governments & evacuation of their personnel.

    Second, given the statistics you cited of a 2.2% fatality rate, that would be catastrophic, if it spread globally. However, that could even be an underestimate, since the disease has a long incubation period, and then takes a long time to develop into a fatal pneumonia. That said, I think it's still not clear how many asymptomatic carriers there are. So, it could actually turn out to be less fatal than that. Still, nothing to sneeze at!

    So, I wouldn't say it's over-hyped.
    Reply