Computex postponed due to SARS fears

Computex, one of the world's largest computer hardware shows, has been postponed due to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the Taipei Computer Association (TCA) said in a statement Wednesday.

Computex, held annually in June in Taipei, was originally scheduled to be held from June 2 to June 6. No date was given for when Computex would be rescheduled. Organizers are in the process of negotiating dates with the Taipei World Trade Center and Taipei International Convention Center for when the show can be held, the statement said, adding that an announcement would be made as soon as possible.

The show's two organizers, TCA and the China External Trade Development Council (CETRA), made the decision to postpone the show after conducting a survey of exhibitors and buyers to determine their thoughts on the issue, the statement said. The survey results indicated a preference for the show to be postponed, it said.

One factor that affected the decision to postpone the show was a ruling by Taiwan's government to ban visitors from Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Canada. Taiwanese residents returning from these areas are required to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine before entering the country, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday.

"It's obviously disappointing they had to cancel the show, but its definitely the right decision based on the whole SARS situation," said Richard Brown, a spokesman for Via Technologies Inc., in Taipei.

Despite the postponement of the show, Brown said the decision would likely have little impact on Via's business.

"I don't think it really results in a loss of business per se because the business is still there," Brown said. "We'll just have to go out and communicate with the customers directly and visit them more."

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