Global business influenced by coronavirus outbreak

Major shops, fast food and coffee chains are temporarily halting operations across China amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak implicating that global business starts to feel the effects of the pneumonia outbreak.


(Photo: VCG)

The pneumonia outbreak was first reported in Wuhan City, central China's Hubei Province, in December 2019, which has already claimed the lives of 106 victims all in China with over 4500 cases confirmed as of January 28.

American coffee giant Starbucks has shut all of its cafes and suspended delivery in China's Hubei Province during the Spring Festival, according to a post on China's twitter-like Weibo on Saturday. One day later, the company further announced that it will temporarily close the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai in Shanghai, East China, from January 27.

Starbucks said that the move is out of "health concerns" for its customers and employees. And the company has already donated 3 million yuan (432.5 thousand U.S. dollars) to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation for medical supplies purchasing.

According to The Wall Street Journal, China is counted as Starbucks' second-biggest market outside America, and the Seattle-based chain operates about 4,125 cafes in the Chinese mainland.

U.S. fast-food giant McDonald's has temporarily closed restaurants across five cities in Hubei Province, including the provincial capital city of Wuhan, the ground zero of the virus from January 24. It also donated 1 million yuan to the Wuhan Charity Association to fight the deadly epidemic.

McDonald's has about 3,000 outlets in China at the end of 2018.

"Masks are urgently being distributed so that very soon all crews across the country will be wearing them," according to a spokesperson for McDonald's, noting that "Internal communications are enhanced for promoting more frequent hand washing and disinfection, as well as helping employees to have a greater general understanding of epidemic prevention."

According to Fox News, a spokesperson for Yum China, the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut, on Monday has confirmed that most KFC and Pizza Hut locations in the Hubei province have been closed for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus outbreak, with the saying that it will continue to evaluate the need for "additional actions".

Yum China has already donated 3 million yuan to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation on Friday. And Pizza Hut on Monday, claimed that it will recruit volunteers to provide free foods for doctors and nurses from three major hospitals in Wuhan from January 27.

China is on a seven-day Lunar New Year holiday, namely the "Year of the Mouse", a play on China's Year of the Rat and Disney had fully geared up for the festival, including putting up Chinese New Year-themed decorations throughout the parks and launching new merchandise.

While it has closed its parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong until further notice to help stop the spread of the virus.

"In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and Cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown… starting January 25," according to its official website.

"The health and well-being of our employees and customers is of the utmost importance to International Dairy Queen, and we continue to practice preventative measures to protect them," an international Dairy Queen spokesperson told Fox News on Monday. "We have temporarily closed select locations, are continuing to monitor the situation, and are closely following the direction of local authorities."

In addition, both Dairy Queen and Japan's Fast Retailing Co Ltd has closed several shops in Wuhan temporarily.