The continuing spread of the coronavirus (designated as “COVID-19”) will impact China’s tech industry particularly in the first quarter of 2020, a report from research firm IDC said.
IDC said the “outbreak will have a greater impact on China’s ICT market compared to the Chinese economy, and its impact on hardware and consumers will be greater compared to software and businesses.”
The impact on the ICT market will be mainly confined to the first quarter, gradually fade in the second quarter, and a limited full-year impact, the research firm added.
“Due to the outbreak, we expect the ICT market to fall a record approximately 10% in the first quarter of 2020 – with at least a 30% fall for PC and smartphone sales, and greater than 15% fall for server, network and storage sales. AI and big data will be affected as well but will remain to grow, while emerging technologies such as IoT and security will experience minimal declines,” said Kitty Fok, managing director of IDC China.
The IDC executive said the impact on China’s ICT market “will also be greater than in 2003 in view of the much greater role of ICT today than in 2003.”
China was also greatly affected by the SARS outbreak in 2003.
The COVID-19 outbreak began in Wuhan, China in late December 2019 and has continued to spread, bringing shutdowns in extensive sectors including food services, retail, entertainment, and tourism in the traditional Chinese New Year festival season, with many companies delaying resume of operations until late February.
IDC further said the COVID-19 outbreak is expected to bring five major changes in China’s macro environment, including intelligentization and modernization of governmental operations, decentralization of city clusters + central cities, accelerating healthcare system transformation, accelerating rise of contactless businesses and services, and acceleration of the China+1 global supply chain strategy – which will bring massive opportunities for China’s ICT market.
Fok said the digital economy enabled by ICT accounted for 37.8% of the Chinese economy in 2019.