Uber CEO downplays the potential impact of the worsening novel coronavirus outbreak in China, saying that the outbreak and travel restrictions associated with it will not have much impact on their overall operation.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an interview Friday that while their operations in Northern Asia and Hong Kong are directly affected by the spread of the virus, “we [Uber] are not seeing a significant effect on the business overall.”
“For example, business in Hong Kong, airport business is down pretty significantly, from an overall standpoint with our portfolio it’s not material in any way,” he added.
The ride-sharing tech company offers a striking contrast in its assessment of the impact of the outbreak to multi-national businesses. Earlier this week, Nike said that the closure of half of its stores in China has a “material impact” on their company. Tesla has seen a massive dip in stock shares after they announced that some of their deliveries are delayed due to the nCoV crisis.
Similarly, Apple also closed down all its Chinese stores last week. The tech giant considers China as one of its biggest markets, and its shares plummet 0.5% immediately after the announcement.
Health practitioners around the world, including the World Health Organization and the US CDC, are scrambling to control the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus. The new strain of the fatal virus that is similar to the virus during the 2003 SARS crisis now has a total recorded number of infections at 31,161, according to the China National Health Commission on Thursday. The death toll rose to 636, with one additional fatality in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong.