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SAN FRANCISCO:  Global downloads of business apps including Tencent Conference, WeChat Work, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack have risen nearly five-fold since the start of the year, largely due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Analytics company Sensor Tower reported business apps attracted 1.4 million new users across the Apple App Store and Google Play in the first week of January.

This then promptly jumped to a new record of 6.7 million users in the first week of March.

The surge follows an increasing number of companies and businesses putting a work-from-home policy in place in an effort to reduce the risk of coronavirus impacting their operations.

Newer services, such as Rumii and Spatial, let users attend meetings in digital rooms where they can see and interact with digitised, 3D versions of their co-workers.

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