Motorola Closes China Headquarters After Employee Contracts SARS - InformationWeek

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Motorola Closes China Headquarters After Employee Contracts SARS

The cell phone maker has had 1,000 employees working from home since April 29

BEIJING (AP) -- U.S. cell phone maker Motorola Inc. said Tuesday it has closed its China headquarters in Beijing after an employee contracted SARS. More than 1,000 employees have been working from home.

The 18-story headquarters on the east side of Beijing was shut down April 29, said company spokeswoman An Weihong.

A research and development center that employs 600 people on the west side of the city also was closed, but it reopened Tuesday, An said. Motorola facilities in other cities have not been affected, she added.

Although the headquarters has been disinfected, employees have been asked not to come back to work until next Monday. An said managers were worried that employees with the virus could spread it through the air conditioning system.

The sick employee, who was not identified, was responding well to treatment, An said. She said 27 Motorola employees who work closely with him are infection-free.

Motorola has said it expects a retail slump in Asia because of SARS. China is its second-largest market for mobile phones after the United States.

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