China Business Digest: Beijing on Edge Over Second Wave of Covid-19; 2 U.S. Airlines to Fly 2 Flights a Week
Beijing locks down residential complexes and starts mass testing again after 36 new symptomatic cases were reported Sunday, mostly related to a wholesale food market. Meanwhile, China’s economy continued to recover in May, but at a slower pace than expected. Two American airlines received approval from the Shanghai government to resume flights to China twice a week.
— By Tang Ziyi (email@example.com)
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
China adds 49 new cases, including 36 from Beijing
On Sunday, the Chinese mainland reported 49 new symptomatic cases (link in Chinese), according to China’s top health body. Of those, 36 were in Beijing, which has become a new hotspot. The latest figure followed an even higher 57 new cases on Saturday. Both figures represented the mainland’s largest new daily totals since April 13.
The capital has recorded a spike in new coronavirus cases since Thursday, when it confirmed its first new infections in nearly two months. Most cases are linked to a wholesale market in the southwestern district of Fengtai. On Sunday, Fengtai’s Huaxiang area upgraded its risk level to become China’s only high-risk area (link in Chinese) for Covid-19.
Beijing is back on alert after the new cluster of cases. Nearly 100,000 community workers were dispatched to knock on doors of residents and trace about 200,000 people who were exposed to the Xinfadi market. More than 20 residential complexes near the market were locked down, and 90,000 residents are undergoing nucleic acid tests, said Xu Ying, a member of the Beijing Covid-19 Pandemic Prevention and Control Leading Group.
Experts with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention told (link in Chinese) Caixin that they haven’t make a conclusion about whether it is necessary to expand testing to every Beijing resident to stop infections from spreading.
China Southern’s Bangladesh flight suspended after 17 virus cases found
A weekly flight from the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou was discovered to have 17 people who tested positive for Covid-19, China’s top civil aviation regulator said (link in Chinese) Sunday.
Under a policy announced by the aviation regulator earlier this month, the occurrence will trigger a “circuit breaker” that will suspend China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd.’s flight CZ392 for four weeks starting from June 22.
Exclusive: United, Delta cleared to resume flights to China twice a week
United Airlines Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. received approval from the Shanghai government to resume flights to China after months of suspension amid the Covid-19 pandemic. United Airlines will resume two flights a week from San Francisco to Shanghai starting July 6, and Delta will operate two flights a week from Seattle to Shanghai, according to confirmation letters issued by the Shanghai government.
Other virus news
• As of Monday afternoon Beijing time, the number of coronavirus infections globally passed the 7.9 million mark, with the death toll passing 433,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Caixin’s coverage of the new coronavirus
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
China’s economic rebound continues but at slower pace than expected
China’s economy continued its slow recovery from fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic in May, as major indicators released Monday showed investment, consumption and industrial output all improved from the previous month. But the recovery wasn’t as fast as economists expected.
China finalizes rules to pilot registration-based IPOs on ChiNext
China finalized new rules (link in Chinese) on Friday for a registration-based IPO system on Shenzhen’s ChiNext board, following the release of the draft in April. The rules, which are modeled on those of Shanghai’s high-tech board, streamline the process for new listings.
China grants bank card clearing license to American Express
American Express Co. said Saturday it had received approval to start bank card clearing services in China, making it the first foreign payments network to be allowed to process local currency transactions in one of the world’s largest markets. (Bloomberg)
PBOC liquidity stance leaves banks looking for more action
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) supplied banks with 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) in fresh liquidity Monday while letting some previous loans expire. The measure looks like a signal for investors to not expect too much liquidity, an economist said. (Bloomberg)
Australian man sentenced to death in China for drug smuggling
An Australian man has been sentenced to death in China for drug smuggling, the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court announced (link in Chinese) on Wednesday. The man was identified as Cam Gillespie in multiple media outlets.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES
• Founder of home appliance-maker Midea Group Co. Ltd. He Xiangjian has been rescued (link in Chinese) after kidnappers broke into his home Sunday and held him against his will, police in the southern Chinese city of Foshan said in a Monday statement. Five suspects have been arrested, the police said.
• China and the U.S. disagreed on the pace of resuming flights between the world’s two largest commercial airline markets, igniting a series of tit-for-tat policy changes and escalating tensions already aggravated by trade and political disputes. (Read our in-depth cover story here.)
• China’s home prices rose at the fastest pace in six months in May, official data showed Monday, as the property market continues its rapid recovery from the coronavirus shutdowns. (Bloomberg)
• A deputy mayor of the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, Deng Huilin, is under investigation for suspected “serious disciplinary and legal violations,” the Communist Party’s internal watchdog said Sunday.
• New York-listed Chinese auto information website Bitauto Holdings Ltd. announced Friday it would be taken private by a group of investors led by internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. at a valuation of $1.1 billion.
• Shenzhen-listed Tahoe Group Co. Ltd.’s 2019 annual report released on Saturday showed that the company had been in the red before the coronavirus outbreak. For the fourth quarter of 2019, the company reported a net loss of 1.9 billion yuan (link in Chinese).
• Jaguar Land Rover said it’s seeing the beginnings of a demand rebound in China as the world’s second-largest economy opens up after months of inactivity amid the coronavirus outbreak. JLR’s sales in China gained 4.2% in May from a year earlier as all of its retailers there reopened for business, according to a statement Monday.
** AND FINALLY
Multiple Beijing tourist sites, such as the Lama Temple, the National Centre for the Performing Arts and the Beijing Tiaoqiao Performing Arts Center, again closed their doors just days after reopening, reflecting the “new normal” for such attractions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Lama Temple, a temple for Tibetan Buddhism dating back more than 300 years, had initially closed on Jan. 24.
** LOOKING AHEAD
June 18: Trading debut for Hong Kong listing by JD.com Inc.
Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editors Yang Ge (email@example.com) and Michael Bellart (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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