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SARS epidemic could affect IT industry
Important developer meetings cancelled

Boston (pte053/03.04.2003/19:26) - The outbreak of the new lung disease SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) may have an effect on the worldwide IT industry, according to a study by the Aberdeen Group .

The market analysts say the introduction of new technologies and products, and in particular electronic components for the semiconductor industry, could be delayed as a result of the epidemic. Several important developer meetings scheduled in the region most affected by SARS, including that of Intel, have been cancelled. Many experts have also opted not to travel to the production sites of their partner companies.

If the disease continues to spread, the Aberdeen Group predicts that the supply of key elements for producers outside of China could be endangered. "A hypothetical quarantine of China would be like a nuclear winter for the IT industry," wrote researchers Russ Craig and Peter Kastner in the report. They do not, however, expect this to be the case.

One smaller side effect of the new epidemic could be the disturbance of 'just in time' hardware production due to delays in air traffic caused by health checks. Up to 37 per cent of all semiconductors are built in the Far East, which is also the main source of cheap notebooks, desktop PCs and cheap network components.

Many Japanese, European and US hardware producers have become dependent on suppliers or their own production sites in the Far East. In addition to Intel, NEC, Philips and Infineon may see the direct effect of the SARS epidemic. Especially those companies with partners in the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong are feeling the burden.

Craig and Kastner concluded that China has generally "lost its allure", in part due to its much criticized information policy, and that some companies may seek other locations for their production facilities in the future.

Submitter: pressetext.europe
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