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GBA Briefs: 5/14/2020

Prices ease: Inflation is gradually subsiding across Guangdong, with the CPI index for April slipping to 4.1%, down from 5.2% in March. Driving this was an easing in food prices, as the effects of last year’s pork shortages began to ameliorate: in April, food prices fell by 2.2%, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points from the previous month. Non-food prices also slowed their rise, falling by 0.2% over March, although it was encouraging to see that inflation in services picked up, by 0.3%. SCN.

Guangdong clear: Guangdong has had no confirmed cases of the coronavirus for 14 straight days. Tests continued to be carried out for asymptomatic cases, with 6.79 million having been done so far at a detection rate of 6.2 per 100,000 population. SCN.

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Guangzhou rated for industrial upgrading

Guangzhou has been recognized by the central government for its efforts to upgrade the city’s industrial structure in 2019, ranking among the top 10 nationwide. The city recorded 103.8 billion yuan of industrial investment last year, up 9.1% YoY. Of this, more than a third (35.42%) was spent on “technological transformation”: 36.8 billion yuan, which shot up 43% from the previous year. 

The investment has clearly had an effect on growth. This is especially in high-tech manufacturing, which saw output jump 21% over the year. It now accounts for more than half (57.2%) of total industrial output in the city. Strategic emerging industries are the ones to watch, though, as smartphones soared by 170%, industrial instruments by 147.5%, and new energy vehicles by 114.7%.

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Guangdong car sales pick up

Guangdong is receiving credit for being the fastest in the country to relax purchase restrictions on vehicles, and the first to introduce promotions for sales. Not surprisingly, it is showing up in improving output figures. Guangzhou Auto led the charge, with sales up 6.1% YoY and 50.5% over March. Here’s how the big guns are looking so far in the recovery period:

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Guangzhou Customs creates biosafety ‘shelters’

Guangzhou Customs has created – and patented – the country’s first “mobile integrated biosafety shelter”. It went into operation at Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport on May 6. The shelter, which is built as a collection of pod-like cabins, each shaped like a typical prefab office space, has been established under the “National Key R&D Program” of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The cabins can be added to or subtracted from, like Lego building blocks, for different usage scenarios across a wide range of port types, whether they be at sea, land or airports. They will also be widely used at medical institutions and isolated observation points.

The square cabin is 12 meters long, 3.5 meters wide, and 3 meters high. It is pressurized, and reaches biosafety level 2 (P2) or higher. Customs officers can safely carry out quarantine work such as epidemiological investigation, sample collection, case observation, and rapid testing in the cabin, processing five passengers at a time. SCN.

Shenzhen public security fully online

Shenzhen’s public security bureau now operates completely online, so that residents need never conduct an in-person visit. A total of 262 services can be accessed via app and web, and kiosks are situated throughout the city in high-traffic place such as ports. 

These cover 72 items related to entry and exit procedures, 69 for population issues, 66 related to traffic, 38 for public security, seven for cyber police, five for videos, four for anti-drugs, and one for criminal police issues. Household affairs services are considered the most comprehensive online in the country. 

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GBA Briefs: 5/11/2020

Back to school, II: After 1.87 million senior high school students resumed classes across Guangdong two weeks ago, it was the turn of 5.5 million elementary and secondary pupils to return today. They were faced by screening checks and disinfectant spray-downs at every turn. SCN.

Asymptomatic cases: As of today, Guangdong has tested more than 3.6 million people for the coronavirus, with only 398 showing up as asymptomatic. Testing continues among public transport workers, teachers, and a wide range of other professions. SCN.

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Guangdong launches ‘Industrial Internet’ parks

Guangdong has stablished the first eight of ten planned “5G + Industrial Internet” parks – demonstration zones where key manufacturing companies can experiment with the development of “new infrastructure”. 

Guangzhou and Huizhou each have two of the parks. The other four are in Shenzhen, Foshan, Zhuhai and Zhanjiang. Dongguan has not yet been awarded a park, despite being home to Huawei’s R&D center, as well as the two smartphone giants, Oppo and Vivo. The provincial government has said, however, that construction of a second batch of parks is under way. 

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GBA Briefs: 5/8/2020

Shenzhen Blue: Shenzhen is launching a series of post-epidemic measures to clamp down on rising levels of pollution. Called “Shenzhen Blue”, the campaign aims to take 60,000 old vehicles off the roads, tighten emission standards on cars, trucks and ships, and – incredibly – ban the use of outdoor barbecues. SZN.

Futian gold: The Futian district court has set a precedent for online auctions of confiscated goods. In the first case, it managed to sell six gold bars at a value of 1.1 million yuan, after nine people signed up for the auction. There were 7,962 “onlookers”. SZN.

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Coronavirus update: not long now

Guangdong added one new imported case yesterday. No patient was discharged, with 6 still in hospital. (Data: Guangdong Health Commission)

Hong Kong reported four new imported cases, from a flight that returned from Pakistan. The city’s tally is at 1,044. 12 patients were discharged in the past 24 hours, with 105 still in hospital. Here is a Covid-19 tracker, which lists all currently hospitalized cases, with travel history.

Across the rest of the country, two new imported cases were reported, according to the National Health Commission. There was no local case. Asymptomatic cases dropped further to 880, as 29 were released from monitoring and no new case was reported.

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GBA Briefs: 5/7/2020

Trains down: Guangzhou South Railway Station, Guangdong’s hub for arrivals from outside the province, saw traffic recover to around one-third of last year’s Labor Day holiday. Around 1.38 million passengers arrived and departed from the station over the May 1-5 period, a decrease of 2.247 million or 62% YoY. The highest passenger flow was May 1st, reaching 365,000. DY.

Cathay downsizing: Cathay Pacific is looking at “structural change” as it investigates how to downscale its business in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. This includes scenarios that could reduce staff headcount, routes served and planes flown, as well as the possible consolidation of its airline brands. “No firm direction has yet been set,” the company emphasised. SCMP.

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