Brazilian Companies in China Fear Effects of Coronavirus on Business

Airlines restrict employee flights, and factories await government guidance to know when they can resume production

Porto Alegre and São Paulo

Brazilian companies with operations in China foresee a negative business impact from the Beijing measures to contain the advancement of the coronavirus, which has killed 132 people in the Asian country and infected almost 6,000 until this Tuesday (28).

In addition to restricting employee travel, in the case of giants such as Vale, companies that sell to China work must deal with the delayed delivery of goods and possible reduction in sales.

The Chinese government has decided to extend the Lunar New Year holiday until February 2, and some industrial areas can only resume operations between February 8 and 10.

Vale has suspended business travel to the country indefinitely and has also determined that Chinese employees should not travel to any other unit of the company.

A security personnel wearing protective clothing to help stop the spread of a deadly SARS-like virus which originated in the central city of Wuhan checks a passenger's temperature at the entrance of subway station in Beijing on January 28, 2020. - (Photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP) - AFP

Employees are working remotely, but activities in Asian ports continue as normal, the company said.

The manufacturer of electrical materials WEG, from Jaguará do Sul (SC), advised that trips should be made only after February 8. WEG units are stopped, and activity will resume only on that date, following the guidance of local authorities.

WEG is one of the largest Brazilian companies a presence in China. In 2019, it opened its fourth unit in the country, where it operates since 2004.

The leaders consider that it is too early to predict the effect of the coronavirus in numbers, but are on alert because the reduction in the circulation of people should result in less consumption in the region.

 Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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