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Coronavirus Crisis: The IT Industry Prepares For The Worst

While the spread of COVID-19, a.k.a. the coronavirus disease 2019, appears to be slowing, the IT industry is hoping to mitigate risks to their employees and their businesses, with many canceling conference participation or warning of financial risks.

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COVID-19 Keeping IT In Uncertainty

The coronavirus epidemic that hit Wuhan in central China has become a worldwide tragedy, with over 75,000 cases of infection and 2,000 deaths reported so far. The vast majority of cases have been near the epicenter in Wuhan, and the Chinese government responded with travel restrictions and an extended Chinese Lunar New Year holiday period to attempt to contain it.

For IT manufacturers that feed the world's insatiable demand for PCs, displays, mobile phones, semiconductors, and more, the coronavirus, also known by its formal name COVID-19, has meant disruption of manufacturing and supply chains. However, the extent of that disruption has yet to be felt, and may not be felt. Because the epidemic hit around the Lunar New Year holiday, most companies had already planned to shut down for a week or more, and purchasers had prepared component orders early. That has kept the IT industry impact to a minimum so far. But businesses are warning that, if restrictions on travel are not lifted soon, manufacturers will not be able to get enough workers and the transport system will disrupt supplies.

For the IT industry, travel restrictions have meant the cancellation of a major conference, the pulling out of other events by vendors wary of travel, reduced financial guidance from key vendors like Apple, and more.

For a look at the impacts so far, turn the page.

Michael Novinson, Gina Narcisi, Kyle Alspach, and Dylan Martin contributed to this article.

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