Companies around the world are feeling the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on business. The virus, transmitted from human-to-human and infecting more than 20,000 to date, is affecting all industries, including retail, manufacturing, transportation and entertainment. Many companies with offices and operations in China have closed locations, halted travel and instructed staff to work from home as this new respiratory illness continues to spread and end lives.
Starbucks, which operates hundreds of shops in mainland China, closed more than half of its shops due to coronavirus. The coffee chain also stopped delivery services in the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, and throughout Hubei Province. Similarly, McDonald’s closed all restaurants in Hubei Province while keeping thousands of restaurants in other locations in Asia open. Fast food chains KFC and Pizza Hut closed establishments in just Wuhan. Apple, the multinational technology company, closed many of its retail stores and reduced the operating hours of those still open.
Other international companies, like automakers Honda, Nissan and PSA Group, have closed manufacturing plants in the country and evacuated foreign staff as a result of the virus. Adding to the disruption of business, uncertainty of the epidemic has led to reduced travel and tourism. United, Delta and American are just some of the airlines that have suspended flights to China. Disney, the mass media and entertainment conglomerate, closed its theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
While many businesses close and millions of people are on lockdown in cities across China in an effort to contain the virus, the repercussions of these shutdowns have delayed shipments worldwide, disrupted supply chains and caused stock values to slide. Enterprises reliant on Chinese suppliers are beginning to face production and sourcing problems. Other companies that rely on Chinese consumers for revenue and factories for supplies are encountering declines in sales and profits.
However, there are options for some businesses, specifically virtual offices. CEO SUITE, Asia’s one-stop service office provider, is poised to support companies operating in Asia during this time. With workplace solutions in locations with limited cases of coronavirus, including Jakarta, Manila and Seoul, it provides all-encompassing, efficient work environments in prestigious buildings. They offer a temporary base location with all of the essential services, including access to network connections and skilled IT support experts, needed to conduct business at reasonable rates. During the coronavirus outbreak, CEO SUITE’s virtual offices can be a valuable, convenient and cost-effective solution for managing business disruption.