An employee works at an automotive electron company in an industrial park of Jiangbei District in Chongqing, southwest China, March 10, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
The chance of getting coronavirus from an electronic product shipped from China is low, according to an article published by the World Health Organization (WHO).
China has been both one of epicenters of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak as well as the world's leading manufacturer of many consumer goods. Hence, many people are wondering whether it is possible to get the COVID-19 disease from a PC or smartphone made in China.
The virus has now spread to more than 60 countries. It is transmitted mainly by respiratory droplets or direct contact with a patient's body fluids. As for packages of commercial goods, previous analysis has shown the virus does not survive long on objects like letters or parcels.
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces. Studies suggest they may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment). It usually takes days or weeks for imports from China to reach the markets of other countries, whether it by plane or ship.
"If you had perfect laboratory conditions, I would give you that the virus could survive a few days," said George Rutherford, professor of epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco. "But this is a short time. How long does it take a product to get from the factory in China to the U.S.? It can take two weeks at least. So, I think it's well beyond the bound of possibility you would get infected," he said.
However, if you think your package may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill any lingering virus and protect yourself and others. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating your electronic goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low, according to the WHO.
If you're concerned about product contamination on your PC or smartphone, you can simply wipe it down. Just remember to wash your hands afterwards.
Actually, people should worry more about the delivery man who has coronavirus and is coughing all over your package. So, maybe you should let the package sit outside untouched for another day or two.
According to GFK, an international market research institute, the world's 5G smartphone shipments in 2020 are estimated to reach 170 million. China expects to sell 110 million 5G handsets, accounting for 65% of global shipments.
Chinese tech firms have demonstrated their resilience in the face of the difficulties and uncertainties posed by the ongoing epidemic. Many smartphone makers in China switched to "crisis mode" soon after the outbreak.
Vivo, a major smartphone maker headquartered in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan, Guangdong province, initiated an emergency response and provided its employees with regularly-updated information on prevention measures in the fight against the virus. For customers who have ordered phones online, it disinfected them before delivering them by mail.
Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo resumed operations amid the fight against the coronavirus. Its employees were required to wear masks, have their body temperature checked and hands disinfected before they were allowed to enter the company's headquarters in Beijing.
China's exports of machinery, electrical and electronic products in the category of processing and assembling trade totaled $466.4 billion last year, making up 65.4% of the national total of such products. The EU, the United States and China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region were the three major destinations.
China's electronic information industry has grown faster than the national GDP growth rate. In 2019, China's electronic information manufacturing industry's designated scale increased 9.3% in added value year on year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).