Twitter escalated its coronavirus response by mandating that all employees must work from home, having previously only recommended the practice. The San Francisco-based company has more than 35 offices around the world, with its Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea locations already put on mandatory remote work due in part to government restrictions. As it expands the policy to its global workforce, Twitter said it will continue to pay contractors and hourly-wage workers to cover standard working hours during the disruption. The steps taken by the social media giant mirror responses across the US tech industry, with Microsoft Corp and others committing to pay hourly workers unable to do their on-site jobs and also urging those who can to switch to working remotely. Google has advised all employees in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to work from home starting March 12, expanding a recommendation sent Tuesday to North America-based employees to work from home until at least April 10. Coronavirus: what the WHO pandemic declaration means Large events across the US are getting cancelled, including the South by Southwest festival this month, the Google I/O developer conference in May and the E3 gaming expo scheduled for June. Local and state authorities are also imposing bans on gatherings of large crowds, while the National Basketball Association suspended its season after identifying a positive Covid-19 case among its players. Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.