Resumption of coronavirus-hit private enterprises, SMEs quickens pace in China
Updated 18:25, 16-Apr-2020

The work resumption of the coronavirus-hit private enterprises and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has quickened pace, thanks to the positive results of virus containment and supportive measures targeting businesses, officials said at a press conference on Thursday. 

Major and large-scale enterprises have all resumed work, medium-sized enterprises have basically resumed work, and a majority of small firms have resumed work, said Lin Zeyan, director of Research Office, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

91.39 percent of private enterprises have resumed operation

91.39 percent of private enterprises have resumed operation, and 49.99 percent of them have resumed 50 percent of the production capacity, according to a report in mid-April, Lin introduced.

"We can clearly see that the recovery of the entire industry and the entire industrial chain is almost simultaneous. Among them, the resumption rate of tertiary industry enterprises reached 89.97 percent, an increase of 8.21 percentage points from the end of March," said Lin.

The federation has served 80.63 million small and medium-sized enterprises, self-employed households, and rural households, with a total of 325.8 billion yuan (about 46 U.S. dollars) of loans being issued, said Lin. It has also cooperated with Bank of Communications, Industrial Bank, Bank of China and other banks to launch a special loan service during the epidemic.

Major and large-scale enterprises have played an active role in driving the overall resumption of industrial chains. "Large-scale enterprises have basically returned to normal, and 57.84 percent of them have recovered over 80 percent of the production capacity," Lin added.

As of Tuesday, 99 percent of major industrial enterprises have resumed work and production, and 94 percent of employees have returned to work, said Xu Kemin, director of the Department of Industrial Policy of the MIIT.

Aerial photo shows the Yangtze River bridge during the morning rush hour in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, April 15, 2020. /Xinhua

Aerial photo shows the Yangtze River bridge during the morning rush hour in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, April 15, 2020. /Xinhua

Further stabilizing the international supply chain 

Xu also noted that the current overseas pandemic is spreading rapidly, so new problems appear in the  production resumption of the manufacturing industry, such as insufficient demand in the international and domestic markets, rising production costs and difficulty in capital turnover, posing risks to the stability of the industrial chain and supply chain.

Therefore, the ministry has introduced measures to smooth the industrial chain. For instance, the domestic market should be stimulated by driving both the traditional consumption like auto and home appliances and new forms of consumption including online education, remote work and medical services, said Xu.

Also, the ministry will carry out surveys on textile, electronic information, auto parts and other industries that are heavily hit by the epidemic and pay special attention to the SMEs by promoting the implementation of relative policies

The country will also increase the supply of raw materials, necessities, and epidemic prevention materials to the international market to help stabilize the international supply chain affected by the pandemic, said Xu.

Over 80 percent of SMEs have restarted business

As of Wednesday, 84 percent of SMEs have restarted business, data collected from a cloud platform showed, said Qin Zhihui, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

"The resumption of SMEs in all regions has moved forward in synergy. More than 80 percent of the SMEs have resumed work in 25 provinces, and Hubei Province, the epicenter of the coronavirus in China, has also seen a trend of rapid resumption in recent days," said Qin.

Qin said that the country has provided 3.55 trillion yuan to financial institutions through three times of reserve requirement ratio cuts, as well as re-lending and re-discount measures.

Meanwhile, as of the end of March, 880 billion yuan of principal and interest payments of corporate loans has been deferred.

(Cover: Workers work at the construction site of the westward extension section of Huayan tunnel at Chongqing Hi-tech Zone in Chongqing, southwest China, April 15, 2020. /Xinhua)