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.
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Here's how the outbreak is affecting some of the biggest names in technology.
- Canceled its F8 developer conference, the company's biggest event of the year at which CEO Mark Zuckerberg updates the world on Facebook's developments and challenges; will hold local gatherings for developers and online events instead.
- Curtailed employee travel to China.
- Canceled a marketing summit scheduled for early March, which was expected to draw 4,000 people.
- Is giving the WHO free ads in order to provide health information.
- Expects delays in production of its Oculus VR headset.
- Banned ads that promise a coronavirus cure.
- Withdrew from the SXSW festival.
- Announced that a contractor in its Seattle offices has tested positive for coronavirus.
- Reportedly closed its Seattle office until March 9, with employees being encouraged to work from home at least until March 31.
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- Said it will miss its quarterly revenue guidance because of the effects of the coronavirus.
- Temporarily shuttered all of its 42 stores in mainland China, one of its biggest and most important markets; closed its corporate offices and contact centers in China.
- Has been forced to seek alternative sources for parts after suppliers in Wuhan closed because of the outbreak in that city.
- Reportedly restricted travel to Italy, China and South Korea, and closed a retail store in Italy.
- Reportedly pulled out of SXSW festival.
- Telling Seattle area employees to work remotely if they can.
- Temporarily closing all its offices in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
- Restricted business travel to China and Hong Kong.
- Told employees with immediate family members returning from China to work from home for at least 14 days.
- Kept European offices open even though an employee in Zurich had been diagnosed with coronavirus.
- Canceled its Google News Initiative Summit scheduled for late April in Sunnyvale, California.
- Changed annual its cloud conference, which drew 30,000 attendees last year, to a digital-only event.
Canceled its annual I/O developer conference, which was set to be take place on May 12-14 in Mountain View, California.
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- 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.
- Pulled out of SXSW where CEO Jack Dorsey was to have given a keynote address.
- Suspended all non-critical business travel and events for employees.
- Instructed all employees to start working from home.
- Dorsey had originally planned to spend a few months in Africa in 2020 but said March 5 that he's reevaluating those plans "in light of COVID-19."
- Removed more than 1 million listings for items claiming to cure or defend against the coronavirus, according to a report from Reuters.
- Removed thousands of items from merchants for price gouging.
- Said an employee at its Seattle headquarters has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and is now in quarantine.
- Told Seattle area employees to work from home if possible until the end of March.
- Withdrew from SXSW festival.
- Pulled out of the SXSW festival.
- In early February old its employees not to come back to work at its offices in Shenzhen, China, until further notice.
- Plans to have its factories operating at normal capacity by the end of March, according to a report from Bloomberg.
- Will allow guests to cancel reservations without penalty if they've booked in China through April 1 or if they've booked in South Korea through March 9.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Reportedly said production of its popular Switch handset in China was "seeing some impact from the coronavirus."
- Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on March 5 asked all employees based in Seattle, Kirkland and Bellevue, Washington, to work from home for the entirety of March.
Several prominent industry events were canceled or revamped because of concerns over the coronavirus. They include:
- Mobile World Congress, an annual industry gathering that had been scheduled to open on Feb. 24 in Barcelona.
- Facebook's March marketing summit and its its F8 developer conference.
- The Geneva Motor Show, one of the largest car shows of the year, after the Swiss government banned all events of 1,000 people or more.
- The annual Adobe Summit in Las Vegas. Instead the company says some content will be offered online.
- Google I/O, the company's biggest event of the year, where the tech giant announces its newest products and initiatives.
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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