Manufacturing

Car assembly at Beijing Benz.

How labour-intensive factories and packed dormitories achieve 'zero infections' in China

With the coronavirus affecting businesses and production industries worldwide, Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu finds out how companies and factories in China are ensuring that workers stay healthy and virus-free.
Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk with umbrellas past stores in Wuhan, China, on 30 April 2020. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Can Hubei bounce back after the pandemic, like Sichuan did after the earthquake?

China’s Hubei province — most badly-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic — has pressed the reset button on its economy, becoming China’s first province to implement an economic revitalisation package following the pandemic. Although policy details are not yet released, academics interviewed predict that Hubei will receive more financial subsidies than any other province or city, and industries like auto manufacturing and infrastructure will benefit from industry support policies. Hubei’s revitalisation scheme will also give an idea of how the country’s yet-to-be-released economic stimulus package will look like. While help is on the way for Hubei, due to the enormous economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, making a fast and effective recovery is going to be a tall order.
A 3M N95 respirator mask is seen hanging on a rear view mirror of a car as the spread of Covid-19 continues, in New Orleans, Louisiana, US, on 4 April 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Mask: A national tool for diplomatic games

A mask is not just a mask in times of a global health pandemic. Neither is humanitarian assistance simply that either. Zhu Ying traces the effect that mask politics is having on China’s efforts at redeeming its image abroad and on larger issues such as globalisation.
In this file photo, a consumer is choosing flour at a supermarket in Taiyuan city, Shanxi province, China. Chinese officials have repeatedly reassured the Chinese people that food supplies are sufficient and there is no need to hoard. (CNS)

Will China plunge into a food crisis? Officials say no

As the Covid-19 pandemic slows down in China, the panic-buying frenzy goes on. Chen Jing reports on people bulking up on supplies across China amid fears of a looming food shortage.
In this photo taken on 3 February 2020, a woman wearing a mask is seen on a bridge in front of the financial district of Pudong, Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China will have too many mask-making factories

China is estimated to be making 200 million masks daily and may have too many mask-making factories in the near future. Chinese commentator Cai Enze envisages the likely scenario facing these enterprises scrambling to turn a quick profit out of mask manufacturing. Looking at the statistics, the world needs to better coordinate how these masks can reach pandemic-stricken countries in dire need of masks.
In this photo taken on 30 March, consumers line up and wait to enter a mall in Wuhan after it resumed operations. (CNS)

Wuhan businesses' quest for survival after 76-day lockdown

To help businesses get back on their feet, the Wuhan municipal government recently announced that it is raising 20 billion RMB to roll out a rescue package for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). On the ground, many companies find themselves in more dire straits now than when the city was under a complete lockdown, and business owners are generally not confident of surviving the present downturn.
A farmer harvests cabbage at Huarong county in Hunan province, at the border of Hubei on 5 March 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

The impact of Covid-19 on the agriculture sector in China

Vincent Martin, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) representative in China and North Korea, shares his thoughts on the Chinese government’s efforts to limit the impact of Covid-19 on agriculture and food security in China. He remains sanguine that the country has enough wind in its sails to see it through this tough period and embark firmly on new beginnings.
In this photo taken on 28 March 2020, a shopper walks past a print shop in Berlin with a sign advising its customers to stay at home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Odd Andersen/AFP)

Globalisation as we know it shall come to an end

Zheng Weibin thinks that strategic rivalry between China and the US will only intensify in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. As the US moves to close off its vulnerabilities in the global supply chain, will Europe do the same and if so, what will the new face of globalisation look like?
An elderly person wearing a protective masks sits in front of shuttered stores near a hutong neighborhood in Beijing, China, on 18 March 2020. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Falling revenue, absent staff... Tough road ahead for China's SMEs

Micro, small, and medium enterprises assets account for 77% of the total assets of Chinese enterprises, while their annual revenue contributes 68% of the total amount of annual revenue of Chinese enterprises. Chen Jing, Lianhe Zaobao’s Shanghai correspondent reports that as the coronavirus outbreak in China eases off, SMEs in China are doing their level best to get their businesses up and running again. But the way forward looks to be all uphill.