US companies suspend China operations, restrict travel as coronavirus outbreak becomes global crisis

17

Over 75,000 people in Wuhan may be infected with coronavirus.” If they are admitting to that, it’s more likely five times that number.

US companies suspend China operations, restrict travel as coronavirus outbreak becomes global crisis

By: William Feuer, CNBC, Feb 1 2020:

Key Points
  • Disney, Tesla, airlines and other global companies with significant footprints in China are suspending operations as they respond to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
  • The WHO has recommended against “measures that unnecessarily interfere with international trade or travel.”
  • As the virus continues to spread, and institutions respond, it threatens to disrupt sectors from travel and retail to tech.

Staff members, wearing protective suits, watch as a plane carrying 32 Mongolian citizens for their evacuation from the Chinese city of Wuhan arrives in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia on February 1, 2020.

Disney, Tesla, countless airlines and other global companies with significant footprints in China are suspending operations, temporarily shutting factories and instituting travel restrictions as they grapple with the coronavirus outbreak that’s derailed commerce in China and sent global markets spinning.

Infections from the virus skyrocketed this week, topping 11,000 as of Friday and surpassing the total number of infections from the nine-month SARS outbreak in less than a month. The World Health Organization formally declared the pneumonia-like virus a global health emergency on Thursday, citing concern that the outbreak continues to spread to other countries with weaker health systems. U.S. officials followed suit on Friday, imposing mandatory quarantines on U.S. citizens who have recently traveled to the Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Local governments in China have extended mandatory factory shutdowns for the Lunar New Year from Jan. 31 to Feb. 9, impacting U.S. companies from Walmart to Tesla. Analysts are beginning to sour on companies with exposure to China, pressuring some stocks. A slew of companies this week warned investors that as the impact of the virus continues to spread, and institutions respond, it threatens to disrupt sectors from travel and retail to technology that look to the Chinese market for consumer demand or cheaper manufacturing in China.

Most of the economic cost of the outbreak “is not related to the virus,” said CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council Gloria Guevara, who was the tourism minister for Mexico during the H1N1 outbreak. “It’s related to the panic,” and it can take between ten months and 19 months for tourism and spending in an area to fully recover from a local outbreak.

Most of the consequences of an outbreak like this are caused by mismanagement, lack of communication and panicked responses, Guevara said. She pointed to the SARS outbreak of 2003 as one example, saying it cost the global economy between $40 billion and $60 billion and cost China 2.8 million jobs.

“The management of the crisis is crucial. They need to be proactive and transparent. They need to work closely with the private sector and we need to not panic,” she said of international health officials. “They need to contain the spread of the virus and we fully support that, but at the same time we need to take the necessary measurements to protect the sector.”

Each company is responding to the situation in its own way: suspending operations, restricting employee travel, canceling holiday celebrations and more. Here’s how some companies have responded so far:

Airlines

Delta airplanes sit on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) on January 31, 2020 in New York City.

The airlines sector is feeling the immediate impact of the coronavirus. Demand for travel to China has plummeted as the virus spreads. Many airlines reduced service to China earlier in the week, but after the State Department placed a “Do Not Travel” warning on China Thursday, airlines began to cut service entirely to China.

  • Air Canada said Wednesday it is suspending all flights to Beijing and Shanghai from Jan. 30 to Feb. 29.
  • British Airways, KLM Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Turkish Airlines, Air France, Air Seoul, EgyptAir, Lion Air, Austrian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Vietjet and Lufthansa have also reduced or totally cut service to China.

Have a tip we should know? Your anonymity is NEVER compromised. Email tips@thegellerreport.com

The Truth Must be Told

Your contribution supports independent journalism

Please take a moment to consider this. Now, more than ever, people are reading Geller Report for news they won't get anywhere else. But advertising revenues have all but disappeared. Google Adsense is the online advertising monopoly and they have banned us. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have blocked and shadow-banned our accounts. But we won't put up a paywall. Because never has the free world needed independent journalism more.

Everyone who reads our reporting knows the Geller Report covers the news the media won't. We cannot do our ground-breaking report without your support. We must continue to report on the global jihad and the left's war on freedom. Our readers’ contributions make that possible.

Geller Report's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our work is critical in the fight for freedom and because it is your fight, too.

Please contribute here.

or

Make a monthly commitment to support The Geller Report – choose the option that suits you best.

Pin It on Pinterest