The four Chinese offices of the technology giant Google will be closed until further notice due to the coronavirus epidemic which has already killed more than 130 people. This was confirmed by the company at the specialized site The Verge.
Google has also imposed travel restrictions on its staff to China. Its employees in the country are urged to return home as soon as possible and to work from home for at least 14 days. The latter rule also applies to people who have acquaintances or relatives who have recently returned from China.
Although most of Google’s web services are not offered in China, the country is home to several of its suppliers of parts and hardware manufacturing factories, such as Google Home smart speakers or Pixel smartphones.
The coronavirus and the technology industry
Other tech companies have also taken preventive measures related to the coronavirus this week.
Apple, Facebook, Razer and LG notably prohibited all their personnel from traveling to China. Apple also said on Tuesday that it has closed at least one of its Chinese retail stores in addition to regularly checking the temperature of people in its employ.
The Canadian government recommends that Canadians avoid non-essential travel to China. Air Canada also made the decision to suspend all flights to Beijing and Shanghai on Wednesday.