Google temporarily shutting down all China offices...

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Google temporarily shutting down all China offices

 International Desk

 Published: 10:49 AM, 30 January 2020   Updated: 03:54 PM, 30 January 2020

File Photo

File Photo

Alphabet Inc’s Google on Wednesday announced that it is temporarily shutting down all of its offices in China due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. 

The shutdown includes all offices in mainland China, as well as Google’s offices in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The offices of the search engine giant currently are closed for the extended Lunar New Year holiday, a measure the Chinese government took to help reduce the spread of the virus by encouraging residents to stay inside and avoid travel.

A Google spokesperson says the company now plans to keep its offices closed in accordance with the government guidance, and it’s also placed temporary business travel restrictions on flying to mainland China and Hong Kong. 

The company is also advising employees currently in China, and employees who have immediate family members returning from the country, return home as soon as possible and to work from home for at least 14 days from their departure date.

The move marks the latest escalation in the tech industry’s effort to mitigate risk related to the virus, which health officials say originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan and which has led to at least 170 deaths and more than 7,500 confirmed cases. 

Because of the tech industry’s close ties with China, as the world’s largest internet market and manufacturing hub, tech employees routinely travel to and from China and almost every major company in the industry maintains offices in the country.