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Coronavirus spread leads Google to temporarily close all China offices

The tech giant has also told employees in China to work from home for 14 days.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Corinne Reichert
China coronavirus

Google has temporarily shut down its offices in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

With the deadly coronavirus spreading across the globe, Google's temporarily closing all of its offices in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan due to the health threat. The tech giant has also placed restrictions on business travel to China and Hong Kong, it told The Verge earlier Wednesday and later confirmed to CNET.

Google's employees in China, and those with immediate relatives returning from China, have also been told to work from home for 14 days at least. Google's Chinese business mainly focuses on sales and engineering for its advertising business.

Coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has so far killed over 130 people and infected more than 6,000. Cases have been confirmed in Asia, the US, Australia, Europe and the Middle East, with the illness exhibiting pneumonia-like symptoms. It was first reported to the World Health Organization on Dec. 31, with Chinese scientists linking the disease to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses that include the deadly SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). 

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