Motorola, the world's second-largest mobile handset maker, has ordered most of the 1,000 employees at its Beijing head office to work from home after an employee was confirmed to be suffering from Sars. Mary Lamb, Motorola Asia-Pacific director for corporate communications and public affairs, said a local Chinese employee in the sales and marketing division at the office in the city's east fell ill on April 24 and was diagnosed with Sars on May 1. Ms Lamb said the office would be closed for two weeks but South China Morning Post telephone calls to Beijing revealed some employees were still working in the building. Beijing-based Motorola spokesman Wu Hung said: 'We were on Labour Day holiday from May 1 to 5. Today we encouraged most of the staff to work from home. Some are working in another office on the west side of Beijing.' Motorola China president Timothy Chen Yung-cheng was on a business trip in Japan yesterday but his secretary denied the head office was closed. 'We have not closed,' she said. 'I am in the office right now talking to you. Our office is open and we are taking precautions, like taking people's temperatures and encouraging them to wear masks. 'What we have done is no different from what other companies have done. 'We have [people] working on shifts and some people working at home. This is actually quite normal for many companies.' China is Motorola's second-largest market after the United States and it recorded mainland sales of US$5.7 billion last year. The company had invested HK$3.4 million in China as of the end of last year. Motorola employs more than 12,000 staff in 26 offices, nine joint ventures and at its largest manufacturing base in Tianjin. A worker at one of the Tianjin factories was suspected to be suffering from Sars last month but was later cleared. 'All the Tianjin factories are in normal operation,' Mr Hung said. Ms Lamb said: 'We have contingency and continuity plans and as a result there isn't any disruption to our operations in China.'