A look at how big companies are bracing to limit Coronavirus impact

Topics Coronavirus

A thermal screeening device checks passengers arriving in India fromĀ China including Hong KongĀ in view of outbreak of Novel coronavirus (CoV) in China, at an airport in Kolkata
A rapidly spreading viral outbreak is disrupting travel and business in China, which took unprecedented steps to lock down cities with a combined 40 million people around the epicenter in Wuhan to try to slow its progress. For global corporations, Wuhan is an important hub. Of about 2,000 cities in China with factories and other facilities, the city ranks 13th, with about 500 facilities. The province of Hubei has 1,016, making it seventh of 32 such jurisdictions. US-based firms have 44 facilities there, and European ones about 40, the data show. Many plants are in the auto and transportation industries, and big names include PepsiCo and Siemens AG. As the death toll from the pneumonia-like illness rises and cases are found in neighboring Asian countries, including South Korea and Singapore, as well as in the US, the economic impact of the novel coronavirous could be widespread.

Here is a rundown of what big companies are saying so far about the impact.

January 26:

Honda Motor: The automaker evacuated from Wuhan with about 30 Japanese staff, family members and employees visiting on business trips, Teruhiko Tatebe, a Tokyo-based spokesman, said on phone. The carmaker has informed the Japanese government that it wishes to utilise the charter jet planned to evacuate Japanese citizens. A handful of staff needed to maintain local operations will remain in the city.

January 25

Groupe PSA: The French maker of Peugeot cars and other brands said it will evacuate its expatriate staff and their families from the Wuhan. Thirty-eight people will leave, the firm said.   

January 24:

McDonald’s: The fast-food giant, which had about 3,000 stores in China at the end of 2018, temporarily closed locations across five cities of the Hubei province due to the virus, including Wuhan. The Chicago-based company is taking extra preventative measures in the rest of the country, including taking the temperature of workers upon arrival and giving out hand sanitisers to diners.

Walt Disney: The world’s largest theme park operator said it would close its Disneyland resort in Shanghai effective January 25. It is offering refunds to guests who bought theme park tickets or reserved rooms in its hotels.


Starbucks: The Seattle-based chain, with about 4,100 cafes in China, also said it’s closing some locations, without

providing more details.


Delta Air Lines: TheAtlanta-based carrier issued a travel waiver that allows passengers traveling to, from or through Beijing and Shanghai between January 24 and January 31 to change their itinerary once without having to pay a fee.

January 23:

American Airlines Group:

President Robert Isom said it was too soon to see an impact. “Our network isn’t that extensive in Asia. But we’re on top of it,” he said. “We’ve seen viruses in the past that we’ve had to make accommodations for and to be prepared for, we’re doing all those same things.”


January 22

United Airlines Holdings: It was among the first global corporations to comment on the coronavirus on an earnings conference call.

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