Novel coronavirus prompts Jollibee to close Yonghe King stores in Hubei

Ralf Rivas
Novel coronavirus prompts Jollibee to close Yonghe King stores in Hubei

Lisa Marie David

Jollibee Foods Corporation temporarily padlocks 14 of its Yonghe King stores in Hubei. These represent 3.6% of its total store network across China.

MANILA, Philippines – Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) temporarily closed 14 of its stores in Hubei, China, as the novel coronavirus spreads worldwide.

Hubei is the province where Wuhan City, the epicenter of the contagion, is located.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, February 4, JFC said all stores padlocked in the area are branches of fast-food chain Yonghe King.

“The 14 stores represent less than 1% of the total JFC store network and 3.6% of the total store network in China,” the company said.

JFC said it is “too early” to determine the impact of the virus on its business in China. (READ: TIMELINE: The novel coronavirus epidemic)

Despite the economic threat that the virus poses, the company said it is still envisioning to build at least 1,000 stores in China. It currently has a total of 389 stores there.

JFC said it allowed employees to work from home and provided them protective masks.

Yonghe King has also provided free meals to frontline medical staff and 300 meals to hospitals every day.

The Philippine government has imposed a temporary travel ban to and from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. The government is also seeking to repatriate the over 300 Filipinos in Hubei province. – Rappler.com

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.