The coronavirus outbreak in mainland China is affecting the production and shipping of computer hardware globally.
The outbreak started in December 2019 and was first identified in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China. To date, over 70,000 people have been infected with around 1,800 deaths.
While there are strict measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus, it has a serious impact on the global economy.
The tech industry, which relies heavily on Chinese factories to produce computing equipment, has been particularly hard-hit.
Tech companies are closing their offices and factories in China and are preventing their employees from travelling to and from China.
This is wreaking havoc across the global tech scene. The recent cancellation of Mobile World Congress 2020 is an example of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Consumers can also expect delayed launches for some tech products and shortages on computing products like VR headsets and smartphones.
South African tech industry impacted
South Africa’s tech industry is also feeling the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The South African Post Office has warned customers who are expecting items in the post from China that they are likely to be delayed.
This is a result of airline connections to and from China being suspended to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
The Post Office has advised customers who intend to post items to China to wait until transport connections throughout the country are restored.
Local computer hardware distributor Esquire has warned that there will be delays on the delivery of new hardware products from China in the coming weeks.
Esquire said it is in constant contact with its suppliers to determine what the impact will be on its business.
It warned that there will be shortages of stock in the foreseeable future as many of the production lines remain shut down.
It urged its clients to be cognizant of these delays when they do tender proposals and long-term pricing or quoting on products.
Esquire anticipates that the coronavirus outbreak will have adverse effects on the pricing and stock availability of computing products in South Africa.
“We have already seen price increases of over 20% on NAND Flash and other storage devices in the last three weeks, and we expect this trend to continue,” Esquire said.