- Getty Images
- A coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has now killed at least 80 people and infected more than 2,700.
- The city of Wuhan and at least 11 others have been quarantined.
- The outbreak is damaging for the national economy, particularly as several large foreign and Chinese corporations are based in the city and its surrounding region.
- Companies including McDonald’s, Ikea, and French carmakers Peugeot Citroen and Renault are temporarily shutting down operations and evacuating employees from the area.
- Here are the businesses who have been affected so far.
- See Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Businesses in Wuhan, China, are temporarily suspending operations and moving out employees in an attempt to limit the spread of a deadly coronavirus that has so far killed 80 and infected more than 2,800.
The city of Wuhan, where the virus first broke out, is one of China’s biggest industrial hubs. Several large Chinese and foreign corporations operate there.
Household names including PepsiCo, German conglomerate Siemens, and French automaker Peugeot Citroen all have bases in Wuhan and the wider Hubei province.
The spread of the virus is predicted to have a damaging effect on the economy, and many businesses in the area have suspended operations in an attempt to contain the virus.
Here are businesses who have been affected so far:
Hotels, restaurants, and fast-food chains most affected
The outbreak and quarantines came in the run-up to the Lunar New Year holidays, one of the busiest times for shopping, travel, and eating out in China.
As a result, the travel, hotel, and restaurant industries are most likely to be impacted by the virus, The Hollywood Reporter said, citing forecasters.
At least seven hotel companies including The Peninsula Hotels, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, and Marriott International announced they will waive fees for changes or cancellation during the outbreak, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
Didi, the Chinese ride-sharing service, also said it would halt services in Wuhan on at noon on Friday – the day before the first day of the Lunar New Year – at the request of local authorities, the SCMP said.
Fast-food chains operating in Wuhan and its surrounding area, including McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and KFC, are also among those affected.
McDonald’s suspended operations in five Chinese cities – Wuhan, Ezhou, Huanggang, Qianjiang, and Xiantao – it told Business Insider’s Mary Hanbury last week.
“We will decide on the time of resuming business in accordance with the development of the epidemic,” the company said in its statement.
It will also monitor the temperature of all employees and send home all those who show symptoms of the virus, such as cold or fever, McDonald’s said.
- Samantha Lee/Business Insider
KFC and Pizza Hut stores in Wuhan also shut down temporarily in response to the outbreak, Reuters reported.
Retailers were also affected, with H&M closing down a total of 13 stores in the region, according to The Japan Times.
Swedish furniture store Ikea also temporarily closed its store, which employs 500 people, last Thursday over concerns for workers’ and customers’ health, the SCMP reported.
Tourism and retail stocks that rely on Chinese demand – including Burberry, cruise giant Carnival, and British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) – also dropped sharply on Monday.
The car industry
A total of nine car factories – including Peugeot Citroen, Renault, Honda, and China’s Dongfeng – are based in Wuhan, according to the SCMP. Dongfeng is the third-largest car manufacturer in China.
Honda told The Japan Times on Sunday it would evacuate 30 Japanese staff, family members, and employees on business trips in Wuhan.
Over the weekend, French auto conglomerate Groupe PSA – whose brands include Peugeot and Citroen – announced it would evacuate employees and their families from Wuhan and quarantine them in another unnamed Chinese city, before ultimately bringing them back to France, the Associated Press reported.
Groupe PSA said a total of 38 people would leave Wuhan, according to a statement cited by the Japan Times.
It’s not clear whether the other auto companies in the region have plans to evacuate employees or shut down businesses.
Dongfeng had already halted production for the Lunar New Year holiday, the SCMP reported. It’s not clear whether it will resume operations after the holiday.
Manufacturers are also suspending operations
Big manufacturing companies operating in the area include German multinational conglomerate Siemens,Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, and the electronic component maker BOE Technology Group.
Siemens said the company “adheres to the guidance from relevant authorities, and has furthermore put in place a series of measures to protect the health of our workforce,” according to the SCMP.
It is not clear what the series of measures is, or whether the company will later suspend operations.
‘Major panic in markets’
Wuhan, which is home to 11 million people, is one of China’s largest cities. Apart from being an industrial center, it’s also known as a large travel hub due to its central location.
S&P Global Ratings said last week that the coronavirus could knock 1.2 percentage points off China’s growth rate, and market analysts warned that the virus could cause “shocks” to the national economy.
“The virus has become deadly and it has caused a major panic in markets,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, said in a morning note reported by Markets Insider.
“Shocks to the Chinese economy always have ripple effects and the commodity markets are deeply affected by it.”
- Read more:
- Everything we know about the outbreak
- The Wuhan coronavirus could blow up the game China’s been playing with its economy for years
- This 40-second video shows what it’s like inside a Chinese hospital treating the Wuhan virus
- China has put 33 million people on lockdown because of the coronavirus outbreak. An urban planner says there’s no way to seal off a city.