Assessments

The Coronavirus Spreads Fears of a Shutdown in China's Tech Sector

Matthew Bey
Senior Global Analyst, Stratfor
Feb 7, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An employee sits in the showroom of an Apple store in Beijing after it closed for the day on Feb. 1, 2020.

An employee sits in the showroom of an Apple store in Beijing after it closed for the day on Feb. 1. So far, China's technology industry has been spared the worst of the new coronavirus outbreak, but that could quickly change.

(KEVIN FRAYER/Getty Images)

Without question, the new coronavirus has taken a toll on China and many other places in the world, infecting at least 30,600 people and killing 633 as of Feb. 7. But only now, as the Lunar New Year holiday draws to a close, is Beijing preparing to assess just how much economic damage the coronavirus outbreak has wrought, especially as China is central to the global electronics and information technology sector. Ultimately, the breadth of the impact depends on how far the virus spreads beyond its current location. Hubei province and its capital, Wuhan, are not critical nodes for the vast majority of China's electronics sector. But neighboring provinces, including Shaanxi, Henan and Jiangxi, are home to cities that are prominent in the global technology sector, while the provinces with the second and third most confirmed cases so far, Zhejiang and Guangdong, are arguably China's two most critical areas for tech....

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