Wuhan is a city with a population of over 1.1 crore people and it’s a major technological hub in China. It’s the hub of producing automobiles, electronics optics and fiber.
In fact 230 of the fortune 500 companies have investments in the city. The coronavirus [COVID 19] has had a terrible effect on the city and since then it has failed across the world over 40,000 cases have dropped up. The death toll has crossed 900 and is rising fast but the virus has also had a huge impact on the tech industry. It has affected everything from the supply chain in the manufacturing sector to events like MWC 2020 which is just around the corner.
On the other hand, the Chinese tech industry has evolved really fast to deal with this epidemic.
Coronavirus [COVID-19] Impact on Tech Industry
Look china is the world’s biggest manufacturing hub and most companies depend on China for manufacture. iPhones are made in China, Motorola has a factory in Wuhan and Tesla has one of his biggest factories in Shanghai.
So when China shut down most of the Wuhan and sent its factory workers home to curb the spread of the epidemic.
Foxconn the company that manufactures iPhones reduced its growth forecast from 5% to under 3%.
HON HAI which is another manufacturer of iPhones has cut its sales forecast down to 1 to 3 percent and analysts are reporting that Apple might have to delay the launch of its iPhone S2 or the iPhone 9 because of these issues.
Sure the factories that make the iPhone are quite far away from Wuhan but it is a hub for manufacturing components that go into making up smartphones like the iPhone.
So companies like Apple are expected to be hit really hard due to this virus.
Even Tesla has had to close down its path began. It had to delay deliveries of its more than 3 cars because of this.
Almost every tech company is facing supply and manufacturing issues because of the coronavirus and that’s a big problem.
However, an even bigger problem is faced by the display industry because it doesn’t only depend on China. The world’s largest LCD manufacturer BOE TECHNOLOGY has its biggest factory in Wuhan. The company accounts for 17 percent of LCD production globally and it is being hit hard due to the coronavirus.
In fact, reports estimating that LCD panels will become more costly by one or two dollars per panel because of the company’s problems in China.
I know $2 might not sound like a lot but it will add up to the overall cost of devices like televisions and smartphones etc. I mean if companies have to pay 2 dollars more for LCDs and they obviously still want to make a profit.
Who do you think will end up paying that extra price?
The consumers obviously and that’s not a good thing for anyone.
Shortages of Supply
But even that’s not all. Sony which is one of the major companies for smartphone camera sensors has its factories in China as well and the company has said that it is facing production delays. Just imagine a shortage of camera sensors for smartphones. These sensors are used by almost every single brand out there including Apple who will and others.
The point is we should all be getting ready to see delayed launches or shortages of supply in the coming months. I mean the ROG Phone 2 is already running low on stock because of the coronavirus and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
But that’s the supply chain and if you think that isn’t a big deal wait till you hear this.
MWC 2020 affected by Coronavirus
MWC which is the world’s biggest smartphone event is also being affected because of coronavirus. Companies like LG, Nvidia, Ericsson, Sony, and Amazon have pulled out of MWC 2020 because of coronavirus fears.
I mean why not, right! It’s a scary situation.
Other companies like Hawaii are taking precautions and it has reportedly asked its executives to stay in a 14-day quarantine before the event. But the thing is major tech companies are canceling their MWC plans and that’s a big problem. They also consider whether or not they should attend MWC 2020 due to the health concerns around the event.
MWC organizers are also trying to make sure that people remain safe and the event.
GSMA the organization behind MWC is going to ask people not to shake hands with each other and it will also replace microphones for every speaker to make sure the virus doesn’t spray.
GSMA has also said that areas like the cafe’s handrails and public touchscreens will be disinfected more frequently during the event. And apparently there will also be a larger number of medical support staff at the event itself.
It has also banned people traveling from the HUBEI Province in China from entering the event. And people from China will have to prove that they have been out of the country for at least 14 days before the event to be allowed to enter.
There will also be temperature screening at the event and attendees will have to certify that they have not been in contact with any infected person. Apart from all that, there are a lot of other safeguards in place for MWC 2020 as well.
How China utilize technology to servive the situation
So let’s hope things go well. Look, all of that is scary but so far the worst-hit country is China and one interesting thing I saw when I was reading about the coronavirus is how the Chinese companies have evolved during this crisis. It’s really interesting.
Let me tell you since everyone in China is scared about being exposed to the virus.
Food delivery companies have started delivering food in a different way. They simply leave the food in a specified place and the user can pick it up. It’s contactless and reduces the risk of coronavirus spreading.
Schools and GYM’s are also suspended in China but classes have moved online to services like the new Wiko & WeChat app. Even GYM’s have become virtual and are offering fitness classes online through apps like tik-toc. It is really very interesting, right!
Also, I mean even though there is a virus, people still want to get entertained and obviously they can’t go to watch movies. So movie releases are skipping theaters completely and coming straight to streaming services like bite dances platforms, 10 cent video and Baidu’s platform.
Even real estate companies use tech like VR and live streaming to let users buy houses without having to visit the house. I like this idea by the way and it might be one of the best applications of VR, to be honest.
What’s more, in China people can get doctor’s appointments done online too. Apps like WeChat are allowing users to let a doctor check them for coronavirus symptoms without going outside their home.
Chinese companies are trying to help the country
That’s not all though. Chinese companies are also trying to help the country control the virus.
Alibaba is going to provide free access to all it’s AI capabilities for the development of drugs and vaccines for the virus.
Chinese telecom operators and Huawei are giving 5G equipment and services to the new hospital that China has built-in WUHAN.
Xiaomi is making and distributing masks and testing kits.
Didi the cab company is providing free taxi services to medical staff.
So even though coronavirus is scary and it’s spreading really fast, it’s very interesting to see how Chinese companies are moving quickly to help people and evolve during this huge thing.
The Chinese manufacturing sector is basically stopped right now but other sectors like food delivery, movies, pools, etc are going on over the Internet.
It’s very interesting to see how Chinese companies are evolving to fit their business model into this more dangerous time. Look this is a scary situation and as far as the tech industry is concerned coronavirus built or some delays in product launches and prices might go up because the production will not be enough to meet it much. It’s a terrible situation and I hope it resolves quickly and things go back normal soon.
On that note, I’ll be signing off in the meanwhile stay safe out there. Share this on your Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms.