The Taipei Computer Association (TCA) today announced that this year's Computex, one of the world's largest computer hardware shows, has been postponed due to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Computex, held annually in June in Taipei, was originally scheduled to run 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 Centre and Taipei International Convention Centre for when the show might be held.

The show's two organisers, 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 survey results indicated a preference for the show to be postponed.

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 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."