Coronavirus update from Conker

As many of you will have read in the press, Chinese provinces accounting for more than 90% of Chinese exports have kept factories either shut or running at low capacity since January 31st, when the lunar new-year holiday was due to end. Some factories resumed on 10th February, others on the 17th with more planned by the end of this week. Thanks to modern communication, companies can continue to operate “office” functions from home, but a factory of course requires hands on the ground.

The key factor behind this staggering return is the sheer number of city workers that would have been in the country during the lunar new year. After the holiday, some 200 million people usually leave their hometowns to return to work. It’s currently estimated that around 30% have returned to key manufacturing provinces.

How mind-boggling the complexity of China is in the global supply chain is hard to overstate. The global economy has changed since 2003 when SARS struck. China now accounts for 16% of global GDP, up from 4% back then. And it is the world’s second-biggest importer.

Due to just-in-time supply chains, some problems have already emerged. Hyundai has halted some car production in South Korea because parts are short. So has Nissan in Japan. Facebook has stopped taking orders for its new virtual-reality headset and Nintendo has delayed shipments of new gaming devices. To give a broader perspective of just how many industries are affected, China churns out a third of the world’s chemicals, half of its LCD screens, two-thirds of its polyester, and a quarter of the world’s furniture not to mention 40% of exported textiles and apparel.

At Conker we are in constant contact with our offices and staff in China (People’s Republic of China” redirects here. For the Republic of China, see Taiwan). First and foremost everyone is well. As for our main product lines, our production is spread over more than 1 factory and in more than 1 province, providing a buffer to the current delays and providing us with good stock availability and shorter lead times. Currently, we remain optimistic that China is containing the virus effectively and production will be in full swing before long.

One question that has popped up is “Can I get Coronavirus from a package from China”. The simple answer is “No!” According to Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, “There’s no way that Coronavirus could infect a package and no reason to worry.” The US Centre for Disease Control writes “Coronaviruses are spread by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support the transmission of 2019-nCoV associated with imported goods.” 

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About Conker

Founded in 2008, Conker is a British producer of business-rugged tablets, touch screens, and mobile devices, providing durable and reliable systems for successful digital transformation.

The firm’s consultative approach delivers fit-for-purpose solutions that improve productivity and streamline business processes, supported by its easy-to-work-with UK-based service team. Customers include Eastern Forklift Trucks Limited and the food waste company, Winnow Solutions. Conker has a partnership with Fusion UEM by VXL and intends to expand its technology partnerships.

Led by founder and CEO, James Summers, Conker’s collaborative approach now empowers mobile workers to measurably improve productivity and make their lives easier by automating the mundane and streamlining business processes.

The business has received recognition within The Financial Times’ FT 1000: Europe’s Fastest-Growing Companies (2018) and Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 (2017). The company legally trades as Tablet Technologies Ltd. For more information visit: