Coronavirus jolts tech firms – CNET

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A new coronavirus is spreading.


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The novel coronavirus
 continues to wreak havoc in the global technology industry. Many companies have shut factories and banned business-related travel and major industry events like Facebook’s F8, the Geneva Motor Show, Google I/O and Mobile World Congress continue to be called off because of the outbreak.

COVID-19 was discovered in the Wuhan region of China’s Hubei province late last year and has symptoms similar to those of pneumonia. It was first reported to the World Health Organization on Dec. 31, with Chinese scientists linking the disease to a family of viruses that includes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). The disease has killed more than 3,200 people, and more than 94,000 people have been infected in more than 60 countries.

Here’s how the outbreak is affecting some of the biggest names in technology.

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Apple

Google

Microsoft

  •  Announced it’s “recommending” all Seattle/Pugent Sound area and San Francisco Bay Area employees who are “in a job that can be done from home should do so through March 25.”  
  •  Warned investors that revenue in the business segment that includes its Windows operating system and Surface devices would likely miss earlier forecasts.

Twitter

Amazon

TikTok

Foxconn

Airbnb

Uber

  • Temporarily suspended roughly 240 user accounts in Mexico to prevent the spread of coronavirus after those users had come in contact with two drivers possibly exposed to the virus.

Lyft

  • Lyft is encouraging employees at its San Francisco headquarters to work from home this week after one team member was found to be “in contact with someone who was exposed to COVID-19.” The ride-share company confirmed the news March 5.

Tesla

  • Closed its new plant in Shanghai for a planned week and a half after the Chinese government told private companies to temporarily cease operations.
  • Warned investors that the shutdown may “slightly” affect first-quarter profits.

Nintendo

Salesforce

Industry events

Several prominent industry events were canceled or revamped because of concerns over the coronavirus. They include:

Also, the annual Game Developers Conference, originally scheduled to take place March 16 to 20 in San Francisco, has been postponed to an unspecified date after exhibitors such as Amazon, Microsoft, Epic Games, Sony, EA and Facebook dropped out. 

The annual cybersecurity RSA Conference took place as scheduled in late February in San Francisco, but major exhibitors like IBM, Verizon and AT&T Cybersecurity backed out. 

CNET’s Corinne Reichert, Ben Fox Rubin, Jackson Ryan, Shara Tibken, Lynn La, Sean Szymkowski, Dara Kerr, Queenie Wong, Oscar Gonzalez, Dan Ackerman, Stephen Shankland, Chris Paukert, Erin Carson and Edward Moyer contributed to this report. 

This story was originally published Jan. 30 and is continually updated.



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