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The coronavirus has spread to 180 countries around the world, and it shows no signs of abating. The pandemic has proved particularly devastating in recent weeks, with total confirmed cases crossing 877,000 and fatalities of over 43,540 globally.
The virus has effectively shut down all sporting leagues around the world, major gatherings including tech events and music festivals, and closed down restaurants and malls. It also put a major dent in the airline industry, and is causing panic-buying across the globe, leading to severe food shortages.
The coronavirus has also had a huge impact on the tech industry, affecting the global supply chain and causing interminable product delays. Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and how it’s affecting not only the tech industry, but also the world at large.
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The best resource for real-time information on COVID-19 infection rates globally is the dashboard maintained by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins. It provides a real-time view of the virus’ spread around the globe, and has a country-wise breakdown of infection rates and total deaths/recoveries.
You also get a city-wise breakdown of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. The dashboard plugs into several data sources, including the World Health Organisation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, China’s National Health Commission, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and local government data. You can also head to the WHO and CDC to know more about the virus and how you can stay safe:
List of cancellations/online-only events because of COVID-19
COVID-19 has caused several cancellations, including Mobile World Congress, the largest mobile-related event in the world. With the rising risk of infection and restrictions on global travel, most brands are rescheduling, canceling, or switching to virtual events to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
- E3 2020 (June 9 – 11): The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has been canceled over coronavirus fears. The event was scheduled to take place in LA, and with the city in a state of emergency, the organizers of E3 decided to cancel the three-day event. This is the first time since 1996 the event won’t take place.
- Coachella (April 10 – 19): Coachella has been postponed until October. The music event will now run from October 9 to 18 instead of April 10 – 19.
- SXSW 2020 (March 13 – 22):: SXSW 2020 has been canceled a week before its scheduled start. This is the first time the event has been canceled, and its fate was sealed when tech companies — including Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, and Intel — pulled out along with major record labels.
- Game Developers Conference (GDC): Originally scheduled to run from March 16 to 20, the event has been postponed to a date later in the summer. We don’t have details on dates just yet, but will update once we hear more.
- Mobile World Congress (February 24 – 27): The biggest mobile-related event of the year was one of the first to be canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. With major brands like Intel, LG, Ericsson, Vivo, and others pulling out, GSMA had to pull the plug on this year’s installment of MWC.
A lot of tech events are still going on as planned, but will now be held online to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. That includes Google’s annual I/O, where the tech giant usually showcases its latest software efforts. These are the events that will now be conducted over the internet:
- Google Cloud Next (April 6 – 8): Google is now delaying its Cloud Next event indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic. The search giant initially planned on a “free, global, digital-first, multi-day event” with hundreds of sessions set to broadcast digitally, but that won’t be the case.
- Microsoft Build (May 19 – 21): Micorosoft’s biggest annual event will now be held online. The event was slated to be held in Seattle, but with the coronavirus posing a significant threat to the city and Washington state, Microsoft has switched to a virtual event.
- Huawei P40 unveil: Huawei initially planned to unveil the P40 and P40 Pro at an event in Paris on March 26, but the Chinese manufacturer has now switched to an online-only event.
- Microsoft MVP Global Summit (March 16 – 19): Microsoft’s yearly summit gives the company’s MVPs the ability to connect and take part in technical discussions at Microsoft’s Redmond campus. This year’s event will be virtual-only, with Microsoft noting that it is working to set up a “globally inclusive set of virtual sessions” to accommodate different time zones.
- NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC): NVIDIA is all set to serve up details on its next-gen video cards, so there’s a lot of excitement around GTC 2020. NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang’s keynote and all the sessions from the event will now be broadcast online, with the event set to kick off on March 26.
- Adobe Summit: Every year, Adobe brings its customers and partners to Las Vegas and shares insights on its latest products. This year’s installment of Adobe Summit will be held online, with Adobe set to kick things off on March 29.
- Facebook F8 (May 5 – 6): Facebook pulled the plug on its annual developer event, and the company says it will instead rely on a combination of “locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content.” More details will be forthcoming leading up to the event date.
- Google I/O (May 12 – 14): Google’s annual I/O event is where the search giant shows off its latest developments. This year’s event won’t take place at all.
Product delays due to the coronavirus
The coronavirus effectively shut down China’s manufacturing industry for several weeks, and that will have long-term effects for tech brands. It’s business as usual for the industry for now as most manufacturers stockpile products months in advance, but we’re already seeing the likes of Apple and Microsoft slashing their earnings forecast for Q1 2020.
The real effect of the coronavirus will be felt in the coming weeks as components run into shortages. Although companies like Samsung don’t rely on China for manufacturing anymore, the individual components that go into your phone are still manufactured predominantly in the country. We’ll be monitoring the situation closely, but for now there have not been any major product delays because of the virus.
COVID-19’s effect on the tech industry
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