International

Virus Expected To Have Long-Term Impact On Travel, X-Border Payments

The coronavirus' effects on the global economy have not ceased.

The number of companies and events impacted by the coronavirus’ mass spread now includes the annual Game Developers Conference.

The event, originally scheduled for March 16 to March 20 in San Francisco, was canceled after many of the biggest companies expected to attend dropped out, citing concerns about the spread of the virus.

The event is an important one for those involved with engineering and art projects with games. The organizers said they intend to plan another event for later this summer.

LG Innotek, which supplies camera modules for Apple’s iPhone, suffered a setback this week when it had to shut down a South Korea-based factory when a worker came down with the coronavirus.

The factory is close to Daegu, which is where the bulk of the South Korean cases of the virus have been found thus far.

The factory will be closed Monday for disinfection, according to the company, and it is unknown when it will reopen.

A Samsung facility in the same area was also forced to close.

While that’s going on, Apple has also been sending care packages to its employees in China who have been stranded there due to the coronavirus.

The packages include items like food, hand sanitizer and a 10.2-inch iPad.

Apple said the packages are designed with “comfort items” in mind, including Hershey’s candy, butter cookies and other treats. The company addressed the inclusion of the iPad by saying it could be used for children’s learning or just to pass the time during their prolonged stay away from home.

The coronavirus has had a crippling effect on the global tourism economy, hobbling the would-be powerful spending from Chinese tourists. Experts say it could be years before the world’s economy fully bounces back.

Chinese citizens have been trying to contain the virus, buckling down in their homes as flights are canceled to and from the country, and as restrictions are imposed on travel from other countries.

The effects have been felt in industries such as tour groups and cruise lines, which have canceled plans due to diminishing interest; international business trips and conferences have been shelved for the time being.

The effects have also been felt by the auto industry, and auto makers have been scrambling to do business via the internet and take inventory directly to home-bound customers.

Online sales have usually been a small source of revenue for automakers, and many customers still enjoy going to a dealer in person to see vehicles.

But with the coronavirus’ impact, companies are spending time employing new ads online and refining their digital showrooms and efforts to sell online.

The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index in China hit a record low, down to 35.7 in February. That’s down from 50 in January, and marks an all-time low for the index. A figure below 50 indicates a contraction from the previous month.

With China’s dominance in terms of global sales, the slump due to the virus has affected the rest of the world, too, with the economic impact already having surpassed that of SARS.

And in Italy, where the virus has also had a debilitating effect, the government has announced a €3.6bn stimulus injection to help the economy move along while policymakers worldwide try to solve the more lingering issues.

Economy minister Roberto Gualtieri said Sunday that the government would introduce tax credits for businesses which reported a 25 percent drop in revenue, along with tax cuts and extra cash for the health systems.

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