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Opinion

Companies must move supply chains further from China

Virus shows Southeast Asian factories too dependent on imported production inputs

| China
An employee wearing a face mask works on a car seat assembly line in Shanghai on February 24: the coronavirus is putting the model for integrated supply chains of production to the test.   © Reuters

More abrupt and unexpected than the U.S.-China trade war, the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has become a wake-up call for international companies about the risks of excessive dependence on China.

It is already proving a far bigger shock than the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, outbreak. This is because China's economy is now more than eight times larger than it was then and its importance to the global economy has grown even faster.

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