Coronavirus Outbreak Deepens Its Toll on Global Business

With much of China still on lockdown, businesses are struggling to get workers back and factories running.

In a release this week, Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics and a key player in Apple’s supply chain, indicated just how difficult that will be. Foxconn said its revenue would take a hit from the spread of the coronavirus, and that it would be “cautious” in resuming work at its factories in China. Plants outside of the country, in places like Vietnam and Mexico, were at full capacity, the company said.

The revenue warning comes as Chinese leaders try to balance restarting the economy with controlling the virus. Concerns about Foxconn’s production also underscore the potential broader impact the epidemic could have on global electronic supply chains. A huge portion of the world’s electronics come out of China’s factories, filled with parts also made in China’s factories, and a longer suspension of production could hit overall supply. Some have even warned that it could hasten a decoupling, which has been urged at times by both Chinese and American leaders out of security concerns. — Paul Mozur

Procter Gamble, the consumer products behemoth, said in a federal filing this week that disruptions to supply and demand caused by the outbreak would “materially” affect the company’s quarterly results.

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