How COVID-19 Impacts the Tech Industry –

The consumer technology and telecommunications industries continue to feel the impact of the coronavirus. The initial outbreak of the coronavirus in China disrupted global supply chains, but as the outbreak has grown into a global pandemic, with over 2,25,000 confirmed cases across 150 countries, the consequences have become even more far-reaching and less predictable.

How Naval Corona (COVID-19) Impacting on Tech & Communications Industry

A string of industry conferences and keynotes are getting cancelled as part of containment measures. And as more employees are being asked to work remotely, the industry faces the prospect of delayed initiatives and missed partnership opportunities.

At the same time, the telecommunications and technology industries have also found opportunities to help with keeping people safe and healthy by aiding companies that are scrambling to make videoconferencing technology more broadly available. Additionally, these companies are assisting governments to disseminate accurate information to citizens about the virus and finding uses for smart city technologies to combat the pandemic.

We discuss here some ways we expect the coronavirus to affect the industry over the coming year.  As an obvious fact, the clearest and most immediate business impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to be a major disruption to supply chains. As the virus originated in China, the region was hit hard as a large number of citizens contracted the disease and many were forced into quarantine.

This led to partial and full shutdowns of plants and factories, some of which were being used by prominent technology companies to manufacture their goods and products.


Apple, for example, experienced shortages on its iPhone supply as a result of the company’s primary manufacturer, Foxconn, shutting down much of its production in China. Ultimately for Apple, this will lead to a significantly reduced forecast in iPhone shipments through Q1 — by as much as 10%, according to estimates by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cited by MacRumors.

And while companies often have backup plans, which include ramping up production in a region that isn’t impacted, the rapid spread of the coronavirus across the globe makes it very difficult to decide which regions would be least affected. Even thMobile World Congress, the momentum and resources of the Chinese economy will not be easily replicated.


Parallelly, the spread of the coronavirus caused several of the most important tech conferences to be cancelled, resulting in numerous missed partnership opportunities. Especially,  (MWC), which was set to take place February 24-27 in Barcelona, was cancelled due to concerns over the virus.

MWC is a major event in the connectivity industry as it brings together the most important companies in the space to network, share innovations, and create new business partnerships. Several companies rescheduled the events they had planned for MWC, but the continued presence of the coronavirus led others to cancel them entirely. Google announced that it is cancelling live streaming of the popular annual tech events – the Google I/O.

Besides MWC, Facebook cancelled its F8 Developer Conference and Global Marketing Summit, Google shifted its Google Cloud Next event to online-only, and IBM had to live-stream its developer’s conference, which last year hosted over 30,000 attendees.

Altogether, the cancellation of major tech events has incurred over $1 billion in direct economic losses, according to estimates. Online alternatives helped limit the fallout from cancelled conferences, but tech industries will likely still suffer a period of reduced innovation due to missed in-person business opportunities. 

Growing Demand for high-end technologies


Meanwhile, the growing need for remote interactions amid the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted a need for 5G technology, potentially accelerating adoption in the long term. 5G’s lightning-fast speeds, swift communications, and increased connection density make it most suitable for remote interactions, which has become a primary facility for many organizations and enterprises as caution mounts over the spread of the virus.

Two key areas — telehealth and teleconferencing — are becoming critical for enterprise operations amid the pandemic, and we think that increased dependence on these areas will help strengthen the appeal of 5G:

Telehealth: This cutting edge technology empowers physicians to diagnose, treat, and operate on patients without the need to be physically present. We’ve already seen such use cases for 5G to combat coronavirus in China:

In January, telecoms ZTE and China Telecom designed a 5G-powered system that enables remote consultations and diagnoses of the virus by connecting physicians at West China Hospital to 27 hospitals treating infected patients. Given the ability of 5G to expand the reach of expertise and services offered by hospitals in this time of increased need, we expect more hospitals will look to tap into 5G to take advantage of the benefits offered by the new standard.


Teleconferencing: Many employers have increased their reliance on enterprise teleconferencing tools — such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and Zoom — as their employees switch to remote work due to public health concerns.

We expect that employers’ dependence on such tools during the coronavirus pandemic will strengthen the case for 5G connectivity in the home — and in the office, as enterprises recognize the value that teleconferencing tools offer. That’s because a 5G connection will be able to provide real-time and uninterrupted communication that’s not possible with most wired connections today.

The coronavirus could highlight possible use cases for virtual reality (VR) in enterprises, boosting the technology’s adoption. The outbreaks of coronavirus have caused big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft to recommend or mandate that employees work from home.

Additionally, companies like Amazon have limited nonessential employee travel to affected areas like China, Italy, and even within the US. While this is the safest course of action during the pandemic, it does inhibit collaborative efforts and opportunities for hands-on training. As these drawbacks become clearer enterprises will look for ways to smooth disruptions for employees, and one way will likely be VR.

COVID-19 Impact on Indian IT Industry

With the major technology giants taking a significant impact due to the spread of Coronavirus, the Indian tech companies are obviously going to take a wide-ranging hit to their businesses.


As most of the Indian tech industry is involved in business activities that depend on the work outsourced by major multinationals, the damage is getting worse with the passage of each day. Also, the standalone Indian companies by themselves are facing an imminent threat of reduced business activity due to the continuing shutdown of the major technology hubs in various cities.

Technology firms based in Bengaluru had extended the work-from-home policy after the Karnataka government asked companies to adopt precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Infosys Ltd and Google Inc. have allowed employees to work from home for varying periods of time.

Infosys, which evacuated one of its satellite offices after one employee came in contact with a suspected COVID-19 patient, said: “Employees have been directed to work from home, and there is no impact on our client deliverables as a result of this temporary evacuation.

” However, it was not clear whether the government’s announcement had any role in the company’s decision. Likewise, with coronavirus cases rising, the Telangana government has ordered all major IT companies in Hyderabad to give work from home options to the employees.