China Business Digest: Wuhan Finds 206 New Asymptomatic Infections; $50 Billion of Financing for Greater Bay Area
Wuhan has uncovered more than 200 new asymptomatic Covid-19 cases as it tests its entire population of about 11 million. Meanwhile, the China Development Bank said it will provide 360 billion yuan ($50.4 billion) in 2020 for the Greater Bay Area, and China’s central banker said financial support for virus-stricken businesses will continue.
— By Isabelle Li (firstname.lastname@example.org)
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
Wuhan finds 206 asymptomatic infections after massive citywide testing
Wuhan is wrapping up a massive testing campaign on its about 11 million residents. After testing more than 6.68 million people from May 12 to the end of Saturday, the city has found 206 more asymptomatic infections, local health officials said.
China reports seven more imported cases
The Chinese mainland reported (link in Chinese) seven new infections on Monday, all imported from other countries, according to the National Health Commission. Five of those were found in Inner Mongolia, with one each in Shanghai and Fujian province. The country also added 29 new asymptomatic cases.
Globally, the number of infections had reached nearly 5.5 million as of noon Tuesday Beijing time. The death toll had passed 346,000, according to date from Johns Hopkins University.
Caixin’s coverage of the new coronavirus
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
China Development Bank to provide $50 billion for Greater Bay Area
The China Development Bank, a state-owned policy lender, will provide 360 billion yuan in financing to support the development of the Greater Bay Area, it was announced during the ongoing “Two Sessions” of China’s top legislative and political advisory bodies. A total 110 billion yuan will comprise financing for technology innovation and strategic emerging industries. The Greater Bay Area is a mega city cluster consisting of nine southern mainland cities, Hong Kong and Macao.
Central bank to continue supporting virus-hit businesses
People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang said that the central bank will continue offering financial support to businesses impacted by Covid-19, after the government pledged to provide new monetary policy instruments that can “directly stimulate the real economy” in its annual work report released Friday.
Macao gambling magnate Stanley Ho dies at 98
Stanley Ho, a towering figure in Asia’s gambling industry who played a key role in Macao’s emergence as the world’s foremost casino hub, has died at 98.The billionaire founder and chairman of SJM Holdings Ltd., owner of the world-famous gambling house Grand Lisboa, died at the private Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, according to state-run broadcaster CCTV. No cause was given.
Regulators took down over 100 high-risk rural financial institutions in 2019
China’s financial regulators last year disposed of 109 small and midsize rural financial institutions that posed a high financial risk, with some shut down and others taken over by the government, sources working for the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission told Caixin (link in Chinese).
Bank of China executive Gao Yingxin may lead China Minsheng Bank
Gao Yingxin, the head of Bank of China’s Hong Kong subsidiary, may become chairman of China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd., several industry insiders told Caixin. Such a move may ease long-running tensions between the bank’s top management and its biggest shareholders.
Gao’s resignation as executive director, vice chairman and chief executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd. was effective on Monday. Minsheng hasn’t publicly discussed the possibility of Gao’s appointment.
NPC delegates urge legislation on data privacy
Chinese lawmakers said (link in Chinese) in their proposals during the Two Sessions in Beijing that the country should tighten oversight of privacy breaches while speeding up legislation to protect personal data, following the massive collection of information to assist in coronavirus control.
News of privacy breaches during the Covid-19 pandemic fueled concerns about information security. Several delegates to the annual legislative meetings urged creation of a national framework on data security through a patchwork of 200 laws and regulations.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING HEADLINES
• The listed companies among the 33 Chinese tech firms hit by new U.S. trade sanctions saw their shares fluctuate Monday, some jumping and some plummeting as investors digested the potential impact.
• China’s pork imports in April jumped 170% to a record high, statistics from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday.
• Bad-loan rates for both personal consumption loans and credit card loans rose in the first quarter while the total size of the loans went down, as the pandemic hit people’s incomes, data from China’s banking regulators showed Tuesday (link in Chinese).
• Meituan Dianping reported a smaller-than-expected 13% slide in revenue for the first quarter, but warned that fallout from the pandemic will continue to hurt its business for the rest of 2020.
• Gross profits of China’s state-owned enterprises slumped by 63% year-on-year in the first four months, the Ministry of Finance disclosed (link in Chinese).
** AND FINALLY
After almost missing out on spring while in lockdown, many people around the world are beginning to get out into the fresh air again. However, a park in San Francisco is maintaining vigilance. The city’s Mission Dolores Park has drawn circles on its lawns to help people maintain social distancing as they soak up some rays.
See more photos here.
Contact reporter Isabelle Li (email@example.com) and editors Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Joshua Dummer (email@example.com)
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