Google has at least four offices in China's mainland and five in Taiwan, according to Google's website. The offices are now closed for the extended Lunar New Year holiday in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus.
"After consultation with medical experts and public health authorities, we've decided that regardless of nationality, any guest or crewmember traveling from, to, or through mainland China or Hong Kong less than 15 days prior to their sailing will be unable to board any of our ships", the company said, in a letter sent to booked guests. No deaths have yet been registered outside China. France, Germany, and Finland reported a total of 10 cases.
This move by Google marks the escalation in the tech industries to mitigate the risks related to the virus.
In China, which has suffered the bulk of the outbreak, the number of cases more than doubled from 2,741 on January 27 to 5,994 on January 29.
In Taiwan, where markets returned to trade from the holidays, the Taiex plunged as shares of manufacturing giant and major Apple supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn, dropped almost 10%. Still, they maintain (ed) offices int he country due to the fact that China is a manufacturing hub for the company with many of its hardware products, such as the Pixel phone and Google Home series.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Microsoft told Forbes that the company has "advised employees in China to work from home and cancel all non-essential business travel". Facebook also restricted employee travel recently, while Apple CEO Tim Cook also announced some employee travel restrictions. Entertainment giants like Disney and other film studios have halted certain operations in the affected regions. An increasing number of airlines suspended flights to China.