GlobalData reported that based on its coronavirus tracker, the infection is already beginning to impact Chinese shipbuilders in Wuhan.
Jiangnan Shipyard, the largest modern shipbuilding base in China, has extended the Lunar New year and advised any workers who traveled during the holiday to stay home from work for 14 days.
Companies affected in Wuhan include Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group, which produces Submarines for the Chinese Navy and Naval University of Engineering, which produces a variety of underwater technologies for the Chinese Navy.
William Davies, associate aerospace, defense and security analyst at GlobalData, said in the short-term, the impact of the coronavirus outbreak could be minimal — but over time, it could have bigger implication to China's shipbuilding industry.
“Whilst this delay will only have a minor impact in the short term, if the crisis continues and companies are forced to halt production for a longer period then this could have long term impact on China’s shipbuilding timelines," Davies said.
“As the virus develops further, it will almost certainly affect nearly every industry.”
He noted that China's defense industry could also be affected. Davies noted that part of China’s naval development plan — which includes the procurement of up to six aircraft carrier — would be delayed and have a "significant effect" on carrier delivery timelines.
“The coronavirus has the potential to slow the delivery of key projects such as China’s third aircraft carrier and new fighter jets,” he said.