Global smartphone sales latest victim of Coronavirus outbreak: Report

The coronavirus outbreak may hit supplies of smartphone components from China to other countries at least till the second quarter of this year, according to research from Counterpoint Research. 

"Our initial expectation was that the virus would be contained within two months and take three more months for things will get back to normal. We now expect Q1 PRC (People's Republic of China) sales to be down by around 25 per cent, compared to our original forecast. This is 18 per cent lower than Q1 last year. But this can worsen if the virus is not contained. Global sales will also go down 7 per cent compared to same period last year. Overall we think Q1 and Q2 will show negative growth both globally and in PRC before rebounding," said Peter Richardson, research director at Counterpoint, in a blog on Thursday. 

There has been an impact on the demand and supply side for smartphones. The supply of components sourced from China is also expected to be impacted as factories will resume operations "slowly and cautiously”, according to Counterpoint. 

Among those components named by the research firm are displays from BOE Technologies, China Star Optoelectronics Technology and semiconductors from Yangtze Memory Technologies, and others. 

The negative impact from the supply chain side will last at least until end of Q2, Richardson said. 

Counterpoint expects the World Health Organisation to declare coronavirus a pandemic, which is an epidemic that spreads to multiple regions or countries. In the past few days, there have been a surge in reported cases of  coronavirus from South Korea, Italy, Iran, and Japan. 

Gujarat urges Centre to evacuate stuck fishermen 

The Gujarat government has requested the Centre to evacuate 340 Indian fishermen, mostly from the state, who are stranded at a port in Iran after the authorities there have shut the nearby airports and barred people's movement due to the coronavirus scare.

Gujarat minister Raman Patkar has e-mailed a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday, urging him to bring back the fishermen.

API availability

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has asked states and Union Territories to keep a close watch on the availability of key raw materials that are imported from China and used in the production of all kinds of medicines.

In a letter to Chief Secretaries of states and Union Territories, NPPA Chairman Shubhra Singh asked the state officials to keep a close tab on the situation in order to prevent hoarding of such items.

Visa on arrival for Japanese nationals suspended

India has temporarily suspended visa on arrival services for nationals of Japan and South Korea in view of the surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the two countries, the Indian embassy here said on Friday.

The development comes a day after India evacuated 119 Indians and 5 foreigners who were on board the coronavirus-hit cruise ship, Diamond Princess, moored off the Japanese coast.

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