Reminder: Just because you are "working from home" doesn’t mean you should skip your daily newsletter reading. OK, now you can go back to whatever you were binge-watching.
Today's Login is only 1,267 words, a 5-minute read.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The novel coronavirus has just begun to shut down offices and public gatherings across the U.S., but its impact on hardware and components production in China started weeks ago, and the flow of goods out of China's factories has been slow to recover.
Why it matters: The global tech economy's just-in-time supply chain has never faced a disruption quite like this one. And while many observers are guardedly optimistic, no one knows for sure yet how this crisis will play out or what sorts of shortages the industry might still face.
The big picture: Facebook says it remains short on Oculus VR headsets. Apple is reportedly short of replacement parts for iPhones, while also warning of other constraints.
Yes, but: Even as the virus spreads to more parts of Europe and the U.S., the situation in China appears to have stabilized. Apple CEO Tim Cook noted the improvements in a Fox Business interview two weeks ago, but he said they were coming more slowly than Apple had hoped, hence the company's need to lower its financial outlook.
What's next: Industry insiders emphasized that the situation remains fluid, with companies having teams of people monitoring supply chain issues around the clock. "Anything can still happen," said a source at one big tech company.
The bottom line: If China's measures against the virus continue to be effective, the supply chain might resume near-normal capacity just as demand drops, thanks to a virus-induced economic slowdown that dampens consumer and business spending.
Google issued a sweeping cautionary edict Tuesday, recommending that all its employees in North America work from home until at least April 10 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Why it matters: The move comes as tech companies hope to limit the spread of COVID-19 both among their employees and the community at large. Apple, Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft and others have also encouraged employees to work from home, albeit in most cases not as broadly as Google.
Driving the news: A Google representative confirmed to Axios it has asked all employees in the U.S. and Canada to work from home, assuming their roles allow it. The move was reported earlier Tuesday by Business Insider.
"Contributing to social distancing, if you are able to, helps [limit] the overall community spread and most importantly, will help offset the peak loads through critical healthcare systems and also saves it for people in need."— Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a tweet, linking to Axios' story
The company is also setting up a fund to ensure sick leave for hourly and temporary workers globally, as well as for its previously announced plan to pay those whose services may not be fully needed while full-time employees work from home.
Meanwhile, in other virus-related tech news:
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Online dating company Match Group plans to publicly support the EARN IT Act, a controversial bipartisan Senate bill to combat online child sexual exploitation, as my colleagues Dan Primack and Margaret Harding McGill scooped yesterday.
Why it matters: Match, the parent company of major dating platforms such as Tinder, is breaking with the internet industry's leading trade group, which worries the bill could open a wedge for law enforcement to gain access to encrypted systems, threatening user privacy.
Context: EARN IT would require tech platforms to comply with government-developed best practices to prevent online child sexual exploitation. If they don't, they would lose some of the liability protections they have under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decent Act. The Senate Judiciary is holding a hearing on the bill this morning featuring testimony from Match.
Yes, but: Groups including the Internet Association have a variety of c0ncerns, including worries that the bill could eventually lead to limits on the use of end-to-end encryption.
TikTok said Tuesday that it plans to open a "transparency center" in Los Angeles where experts can observe the Chinese-owned platform's moderation processes.
Why it matters: Critics have worried over the degree to which China might influence TikTok's content policies and practices, now or in the future.
Details: While the move is clearly aimed at providing insight into the company's operations, TikTok is expected to be selective about who it lets in the door.
The big picture: Opening the center is just the first phase of the company's effort to be more transparent, TikTok said.
"Later, we will expand the Center to include insight into our source code, and our efforts around data privacy and security," the company said in a statement.
I'm not sure what Lego and Super Mario are up to, but any collaboration is likely to be a hit.