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China coronavirus causing chaos for U.S. companies

Coronavirus panic shuts down Chinese cities
Businesses, events shut down in China over coronavirus panic 01:57

China's coronavirus outbreak is emerging not only as a global health emergency, but also as a business challenge for the thousands of U.S. and foreign companies that operate in the world's second-largest economy. Fears of contagion are upending sales and operations for American corporate giants ranging from Apple, Google and Tesla to McDonald's, Starbucks and Royal Caribbean, while also hurting Chinese economic growth.

Experts say the ultimate impact of the virus, known formally as 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease, will depend largely on how fast China manages to contain it. As of Thursday, the virus had killed 170 people — all of them in China — and infected nearly 8,000 others across more than a dozen countries, including the U.S. Following is a roundup of companies and industries that are affected.


The iPhone maker has closed one retail store in China, while some of its partners that sell Apple products have shut down, CEO Tim Cook said during the company's quarterly earnings call this week. Apple stores that remain open have reduced operating hours, and employee travel in China is also limited to "business-critical situations."

For now, the virus doesn't appear to have slowed production at FoxConn, the large contract manufacturer that makes products for Apple and other tech companies. But Apple also sources some parts from suppliers based in Wuhan, ground zero for the outbreak, and Cook said the company is now exploring alternatives if the virus disrupts those supplies. 


Google's parent company is temporarily shutting all of its offices in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and has restricted employees from flying to mainland China and Hong Kong. Additionally, China-based employees and employees who have been in contact with individuals returning from China must work from home for at least 14 days. 


The coffee chain said on Tuesday it would temporarily close 2,000 restaurants across China — roughly half of its shops in the country — in a move the company conceded could dent its earnings. Starbucks has more than 4,100 stores in 168 Chinese cities, making China the company's second-largest market. 


The world's largest fast-food company has temporarily closed all of its restaurants in Hubei province, where Wuhan is situated. It has also suspended operations at tourist and transportation hubs on the guidance of local authorities, the company told CBS MoneyWatch. 

While more than 3,000 other McDonald's restaurants across China remain open, the company has established an "Epidemic Prevention and Control Task Force" to implement additional safety measures. All of its restaurants in China measure employees' body temperatures upon their arrival at work — those with fevers or cold symptoms are sent home. Employees are being provided with face masks and hand sanitizer.

Procter & Gamble

The consumer goods company is advising employees to avoid travel to affected areas in China and not to travel if they are sick. Employees returning home from the Wuhan are also required to work from home for 14 days from the date of departure. 

GM, Tesla and other automakers

The virus is expected to have an effect on both the supply of, and demand for, vehicles, as automakers General Motors, Honda and Nissan suspend production and Wuhan remains on lockdown. 

Americans evacuated out of Wuhan amid coronavirus scare 03:14

Electric car maker Tesla has also temporarily shut its China factory because of the coronavirus. Although company founder and CEO Elon Musk has downplayed the potential impact, Tesla has much riding on China. The company's factory in Shanghai, which began producing cars in early January, is expected to remain closed for at least a week and a half, and that could crimp the company's earnings, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn told analysts this week. 


The Swedish furniture maker has temporarily closed all of its 30 stores in China until further notice in response to the health emergency, Ikea told CBS News. Store workers also have been asked to stay at home on paid leave until further notice. 


The owner of fashion company H&M on Thursday told CBS MoneyWatch that it had closed 97 of its 520 stores in China owing to the virus outbreak. 

Goldman Sachs, HSBC and other banks

Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Standard Chartered are among the global banks that are restricting employee travel to and from China and mandating that any workers who may have been exposed to the virus work from home for a period of time. 

All Goldman Sachs employees who have been in mainland China, or who have been in close contact with someone who has been in the country in recent weeks, are required to work from home or be out of the office for 14 days, the investment bank told CBS MoneyWatch. Goldman is also restricting all business travel to Hubei province and reviewing all non-essential business travel to, from and within mainland China. 

Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines

U.S. and foreign cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Costa Crociere, Genting Cruise Lines and MSC have cancelled scheduled sailings in China. Royal Caribbean Cruises cancelled its January 27 and January 31 sailings of "Spectrum of the Seas" — its only ship with a home port in China. The company said it would provide full refunds to guests with reservations on both sails. 

Costa Crociere has also suspended all Chinese cruise operations until February 4, citing concerns for the health of its passengers and crew. It has cancelled multiple trips on four cruise ships — the "Costa Serena," "Costa neoRomantica," "Costa Venezia" and "Costa Atlantica."

How residents in China are dealing with the deadly coronavirus outbreak 04:39


American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines are all suspending or cutting back on flights between the U.S. and China. Foreign carriers are also temporarily halting or limiting flights, including Air Canada, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Jetstar Asia, Lion Air, Lufthansa and Seoul Air.

Movie theaters

Some Chinese cities have closed movie theaters and postponed premieres scheduled over the holiday season, according to Gavekal Research. Public facilities including museums and scenic spots also are closed and celebrations have been cancelled, denting tourism during one of the most popular times of year to visit China. 

— CBS News' Stephen Gandel contributed to this report.

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