Coronavirus Effects Apple and Other Tech Giants as Outbreak Spreads

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The outbreak of the Coronavirus officially called COVID-19 is deeply effecting the revenue of global tech firms. As companies are shuttering stores and disrupting the supply chain, the economic damage is slowly mounting around the world.

This pneumonia-like disease made tens of millions of people lockdown in dozens of cities and now weighing on Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020, an annual industry gathering that was scheduled to happen on Feb. 24 in Barcelona, Spain. The GSMA, the organization accountable for this event, announced on Feb. 12 that it’s calling off this year’s MWC.

This measure was taken after the number of companies, including prominent exhibitors like LG, AT&T, Samsung, Ericsson, NTT Docomo, Amazon, and Facebook, began withdrawing their participation because of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the other major event for this month, the RSA Conference in San Francisco, is also being affected by the outbreak of this virus. Its corporate sponsor IBM pulled itself out of this technology trade show, which typically draws over 40,000 audiences. As of now, though, conference organizers say the show will go on, despite IBM’s cancellation.

Apart from significant tech events, the Cupertino-based firm, Apple Inc., warns on Monday how it’s unlikely to meet the March quarter sales guidance set three weeks ago because of the coronavirus epidemic. In a letter to investors today, it said that “Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated. As a result, we do not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter.”

On the other hand, Apple’s stock plunges 5% at €285, as European traders respond to a caution that revenue targets will be missed this quarter. The company is worth around $1.4 trillion, and this drop would wipe approximately $70 billion off its market capitalization.

The world’s valuable technology firms, like Google, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Lenovo, and others, are monitoring the situation closely to avoid being the corporate casualties of this rampant.

The search giant Google announced on Jan. 29 that it’s temporarily closing its offices in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong due to this threat. It has also restrained business travel to these countries. Facebook has reduced employee travel to China while Foxconn has reportedly told its staff not to come back to offices in Shenzhen, China until informed.

Lenovo, the China-based laptop maker, is letting people work from home and thereby evading large face-to-face meetings. Nintendo sees slow-down in the production of its popular Switch handset in China because of this outbreak.