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Coronavirus

Production halts in China risks disrupting new iPhone launch

Local governments tell companies to extend closures

Prolonged production shutdowns in China could disrupt global supply chains.   © Reuters

GUANGZHOU/TAIPEI -- Local Chinese governments are telling companies to keep workers at home after the Lunar New Year holidays as the coronavirus infection spreads, raising the possibility of stalled production disrupting the global supply of smartphones, personal computers and other electronics.

The Chinese government has already extended the Lunar New Year holiday to Sunday, which was scheduled to end on Thursday. But at least 25 provinces and major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, have told companies to keep employees at home longer. The coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, has sickened more than 11,790 people and killed at least 259 in mainland China.

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