Amid the increasing dread of coronavirus, major firms in China have asked their employees to work from home for one week, even after the extended Lunar New Year break ends. The bid to curb the infection by giants like Alibaba and Tencent comes after the virus killed 80 and infected 27,000 across China.
In its combat efforts, the Chinese government extended the Lunar New Year holiday by three days to Feb 2. But many businesses have taken a step further and asked their employees to work from home till Feb 7 and not to return to their offices until Feb 10. Alibaba reportedly said the measure applied across all its divisions, including to workers in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau as well as in mainland China. Working on similar lines, the Shanghai government announced that all companies in the city would not be able to work till Feb 9 and did Suzhoun a pharmaceutical hub.
The decision by the Shanghai government has affected companies like Tesla Inc, General Motors and Volkswagen which either own factories or operate them in the city through ventures with local partners. TikTok owner Bytedance emerged as the most stringent and instructed employees who travelled during the break to work from home for 14 days while those who did not to start from Feb 10.
E-commerce firm Pinduoduo, UBS Group AG and property developer Country Garden have also advised employees returning from Wuhan or Hubei province to quarantine themselves at home. Other brands such as Starbucks Corp have closed shops in Hubei province while Walt Disney Co's Shanghai Disney Resort closed until further notice. Macau reportedly said it would bar anyone who has been in Hubei province within 14 days of their arrival from entering the city's casinos.
Meanwhile, in a fresh wave of preventive measures, Hong Kong has banned its visitors from China's Hubei province where the new Coronavirus outbreak was reported. People will be banned from entering Hong Kong from January 27 as China tries to curb the rapid spread of the outbreak.