Caixin
Jan 05, 2021 06:01 PM
ECONOMY

China Railway Expects Growth to Bounce Back This Year

What’s new: Impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak, passenger traffic on China’s railways slumped nearly 40% in 2020 to 2.16 billion trips, a record low since its operator, China State Railway Group Co. Ltd., was established in 2013, the company said at an internal meeting Monday.

Cargo transport volume rose 4.1% year-on-year last year to 3.58 billion tons, but fell short of a target of 3.65 billion tons that the group set at the beginning of 2020.

Revenue totaled 1.13 trillion yuan ($175 billion), on par with 2019’s, but the amount generated by the transport business fell about 20% to 650.1 billion yuan, the company said.

What’s the background: China State Railway Group expects to see growth in both passenger and cargo volume this year, with passenger traffic likely to return to 3.1 billion trips, close to the level in 2019. Cargo traffic is expected to increase 3.4% to 3.7 billion tons, and revenue generated by the national railway is projected to rise 3.5%.

The group invested 781.9 billion yuan in national railway fixed assets last year, marking the first yearly investment of fewer than 800 billion yuan since 2014. An infrastructure analyst attributed the drop to the Covid-19 pandemic, and said measures to ramp up investment include bidding for new projects, which takes time to come online.

The group said it is on track to publically list more units, including China Railway Design Group Co. Ltd. Two of its units debuted in Shanghai last year, with two more undergoing the listing process.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Lu Yutong (yutonglu@caixin.com) and editor Heather Mowbray (heathermowbray@caixin.com)

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