Here are some of the industries that have been directly affected by the coronavirus and the disease it causes, named COVID-19.

1. Travel & tourism

Airplane, view from airport terminal.
Dabarti CGI / Shutterstock
Airlines have stopped service to China.

China has been one of the travel industry’s biggest growth markets in recent years, and experts are predicting the COVID-19 outbreak will result in a 28% drop in visitors to the U.S. from China in 2020 — a loss of more than $10 billion for the American travel industry.

Top airlines, including America, Delta and United, have suspended their flights to and from China until at least late April.

Air China is significantly limiting its service to the United States. It planned to operate seven flights a week in both directions, while in 2018 it averaged around 130 flights a week.

The cruise industry also has also been hit hard by the coronavirus scare, after 3,600 passengers on Carnival Cruise Line’s Diamond Princess were stranded for weeks off the coast of Japan due to infections on board. More than 50 cruises have been canceled, and at least seven ports have been closed to cruise ships.

2. Oil

steel long pipes in crude oil factory during sunset
Kodda / Shutterstock
The oil industry is taking a beating from coronavirus.

The oil industry was already struggling with below-average prices prior to the spread of COVID-19, and oil producers now expect to see global prices drop even further.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil has dropped by 20% over the past month as China’s demand for oil has dropped by the same percentage.

In early February, oil prices hit their lowest level in more than a year, and energy analytics firms are predicting that the virus could reduce global demand for oil by as much as 4% — roughly 4.1 million barrels per day.

Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron are all reporting disappointing earnings, and in a related development the China National Offshore Oil Corporation — China’s largest importer of liquified natural gas — has suspended contracts with at least three major suppliers.

More: Even with below average prices, many states plan to hike up their gas taxes.

3. Global delivery

Container freighter ship with empty upper deck anchored near Shanghai port, China
Igor Grochev / Shutterstock
Freighter ships are sitting empty as COVID-19 halts the movement of goods.

The global shipping and delivery industry has been rattled by COVID-19, and many delivery pilots are refusing to fly in and out of mainland China.

Both FedEx and UPS have reached agreements with pilots’ organizations that give pilots the option to decline trips or take a leave of absence for flights going to China.

The ocean shipping industry still relies heavily on paper documents, and because of the interruptions in air deliveries, critical documents like bills of lading (detailed cargo lists) aren’t reaching China. Without these documents, ship owners are refusing to release their cargo to buyers.

Freighters returning from dropping off goods in China can face a 14-day quarantine before being able to reload, which is causing significant interruptions to the supply chain.

4. Entertainment

Castle in Disney, Shanghai, China.
Xinyo / Shutterstock
Shanghai Disneyland in China has been shut down.

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, China’s 70,000 movie theaters have been shut down and movie production has been halted, crippling the national film industry and substantially affecting American production companies as well.

China is one of the largest markets for the global movie industry, and big-budget U.S. movies that do poorly in North American markets rely on Chinese sales to recoup their losses.

Many tourist attractions like theme parks and casinos also have had to close down while efforts to contain the virus continue.

Disney has temporarily shut down theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong — a move that is expected to reduce the company’s operating income by $175 million in the second quarter.

American casino operator Wynn Resorts was forced to close its casino in Macau in early February, which reportedly cost the company $2.4 million to $2.6 million a day.

5. Technology

Hong Kong, China - October 4, 2018: Closed after work day an Apple flagship store. Chain of retail stores owned and operated by Apple Inc. Low light at night, selective focus
Al.geba / Shutterstock
Apple stores have closed across China.

February's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, one of the biggest tech trade shows in the world, was canceled after major tech companies, including Sony, Intel, AT&T, and Sprint backed out over coronavirus concerns.

The tech industry is heavily reliant on China for the design and manufacturing of parts, and most major U.S. tech companies have had to temporarily cut back operations in that country.

Apple has shuttered all 42 of its stores in mainland China for the time being, as well as its corporate offices and contact centers. Analysts predict that the virus could lead to Apple shipping 5% to 10% fewer iPhones this quarter.

Google has temporarily closed all its offices in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and has placed restrictions on business travel to China and Hong Kong.

Microsoft has advised all China-based employees to work from home, and the company may need to delay the release of its new gaming system, the Xbox Series X, which is being manufactured in China and is slated for a 2020 holiday season release.

6. Automobiles

The car assembly line is not assembled to complete the car skeleton
Jenson / Shutterstock
Automobile assembly lines were shut down in China.

China accounts for a huge portion of the world’s auto parts production — almost $20 billion a year for U.S.-based car companies.

Countless auto plants in China were shut down during the height of the outbreak, and factories around the world have had to pause operations due to shortages of parts.

As the Chinese factories begin to reopen, many are experiencing severe shortages of workers, which will have a continuing impact on the global supply chain.

GM has reopened its plants across China, but its revenues for 2020 are said to be at “high risk” due to the disruptions to its supply chain. Fiat Chrysler has temporarily halted production at a factory in Serbia due to a lack of parts from China.

Tesla shut down its new plant in Shanghai for a week in early February, and it’s unclear how much of its production has resumed.

More: Production problems aside, several automobiles are being discontinued in 2020.

7. Food

Empty bar - bar stools at the closed bar counter. Small business fail concept
Lina Mo / Shutterstock
Thousands of restaurants have closed on account of the outbreak.

As COVID-19 has spread, China has closed thousands of restaurants, including a number of major American fast-food chains.

McDonald’s has halted operations at several hundred of the 3,300 restaurants it has in China, and Burger King has closed half of its 1,300 locations.

Some 2,000 of the 4,300 Starbucks locations in China have shut down, and the coffee giant has delayed a planned update to its 2020 financial forecast.

Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut franchises in China, closed nearly one-third of its restaurants because of the outbreak, and the locations that are still open have seen a substantial drop in sales.

8. Clothing and luxury

Modern fashionable brand interior of clothing store inside shopping center
Veja / Shutterstock
The outbreak has shut down many clothing and other chain stores.

Many chain stores have been forced to close in China, which accounts for 40% of all exports in textiles and apparel.

Nike has shut down about half of its stores in China, and those that remain open have shortened hours.

Traffic in major shopping areas outside of China has been reduced due to slowed tourism around the world.

Sports apparel company Under Armour has announced its revenues could take a hit of up to $60 million. Tapestry, the American luxury brand that owns Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman, and Coach, believes the outbreak may reduce its sales for the second half of 2020 by up to $250 million.

And in Italy, where dozens of people have become infected, designer Giorgio Armani decided to stage a fashion show in an empty hall and livestream it, so as not to put guests at risk.

More: At home, these retail chains are closing the most stores in 2020.

About the Author

Shane Murphy

Shane Murphy


Shane is a reporter for MoneyWise. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature from Western University and is a graduate of the Algonquin College Scriptwriting program.

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