American Companies in China Say This Is the Date When Coronavirus’ Business Impact Will Become Detrimental

American companies in China are bracing for the impact of the coronavirus.

In a survey conducted this month of over 150 member companies, the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) found that nearly half of respondents expect to see revenue declines if the situation does not return to normal by the end of April. Should the outbreak last through the end of August, about 20% of respondents said they believe revenues will drop by 50%.; the majority of AmCham members said it was too soon to forecast the long-term effects of the virus.

AmCham China members say the most significant coronavirus challenges at present are disrupted travel due to government-imposed travel restrictions and a reduction in staff productivity, both of which have slowed project timelines. One-third of respondents said they have already been hit with increased costs and significantly lower revenues.

So far, there have been more than 82,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus globally and more than 2,800 deaths reported. The virus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has mostly been contained to China, where officials have reported about 78,500 cases and nearly 2,750 deaths. However, this week there was a significant uptick in cases outside the country, particularly in South Korea and Italy, which fueled a global stock market sell-off. In the U.S., 15 patients have been confirmed; the 15th case was reported last night at a White House briefing. There are also as many as 42 American citizens who contracted the virus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was docked at Yokohama, Japan.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, many U.S.-based fashion and footwear firms with operations in China, including Nike, Skechers and Tapestry, have opted to shutter outposts or reduce operating hours in heavily infected areas. Due to decreased sales, several companies have already warned that their fiscal-year sales could be negatively impacted by the spread of the coronavirus.

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