A graphic representation of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. (Source: freakwave on Pixabay)

Apple, Amazon Among List of AI Companies Impacted by New Virus

Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and other major tech companies are restricting their employees from traveling to and from China due to the threat of the spreading coronavirus, according to a story on businessinsider.com. The companies rely on China to import goods and provide services. Many have branch offices.

The Chinese stock market plunged 8% on Sunday because of the coronavirus’s impact, according to CNN.com. The UK newspaper The Telegraph quoted officials predicting that many Chinese tech workers who left for the New Year’s holiday won’t return to their jobs until the coronavirus is under control, which could cause an electronics shortage worldwide.

The virus has already killed more than 427 people and spread to at least 27 countries, prompting many more countries to warn against travel to China.

Others businesses hit by the new virus are both in and outside of the tech industry, from retail companies to tourism apps. Because the virus has already killed more people than the SARS virus did in its entirely, travel to China has ground to a halt.

On Sunday, February 2, President Trump defended a decision that would bar foreign nationals who had recently visited China from entering the United States as his administration continued to assess the growing threat of a coronavirus outbreak.

Fresh off reporting record earnings of $91.8 billion for the holiday quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri used a conference call with financial analysts to offer more details on the health of the company’s business at the beginning of 2020 — arguably the strongest point in its history, as measured in both dollars and devices. But the potential impact of the coronavirus that is spreading in China is clearly weighing heavily on the company’s leadership according to an article in venturebeat.com from Jeremy Horowitz.

Apple is concerned, however, about the potential impact of China’s Wuhan coronavirus on both its production and sales. The company has also closed down at least three stores in China.

Confusing Reports from China

China regularly withholds factual information and cheats on the numbers when it comes to viruses and the danger they pose to the rest of the planet. So far, the New York Times has reported:

“A 1,000-bed hospital built in 10 days has opened in Wuhan, China, to accept patients infected with a deadly new coronavirus as authorities announced that the number of cases jumped by nearly 3,000 in less than 24 hours. …Chinese officials also said the disease has killed 361 people in the country. Over the weekend, a death in the Philippines became the first outside of China. The 362 deaths is greater than the number of people killed by the SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003. That outbreak killed 349 people.

More than 500 people have recovered from the infections, according to Johns Hopkins University. Health officials are hopeful the recoveries mean the new virus is not as deadly as SARS, the New York Times reports.

China Eastern is the first major Chinese airline carrier to suspend flights to and from the United States because of the outbreak, CNN reports. Other international airlines such Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways had already suspended flights to and from mainland China.

As of Monday, February 3, the U.S. reported 11 cases.

Below are links to the information and the latest numbers of the coronavirus. The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University has created an online dashboard that tracks the current status of the coronavirus outbreak. The numbers of deaths and infections are rising daily.

read more at businessinsider.com and venturebeat.com

The latest numbers on the virus can be found at weather.com

This map depicts countries affected by the spread of the coronavirus as of Sunday, February 2. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)