GBA Briefs: 3/25/2020

SZ dining resumes: Shenzhen’s bars and restaurants are now fully open again. To set the pace of recovery, two of its biggest districts, Luohu and Nanshan, have launched dining promotions, and their party secretaries have been publicly visible at lunch and dinner outings. SZN.

Hotels recover staff: Shenzhen’s hotel and catering industries are seeing strong growth in job applications again as the city’s migrant workers return. An online portal says the sector leads all others, with a 20% week-on-week jump in applications. SZN. However, most hotels’ banquet operations are likely to recover more slowly in the coming weeks. SZN. 

HK property doldrums: Hong Kong’s property market is unlikely to repeat its V-shaped recovery of 2003 once the Covid-19 pandemic is over, as a critical lifeline is missing this time around – mainland Chinese tourists, companies and investors. SCMP.

Lenders, beware: Online lenders and other non-bank lenders are sinking into deep trouble across China, exposing the economy’s reliance on rising levels of consumer debt. SCMP.

Rebates boom: Guangdong has raised export-tax rebates which will affect US$6.17 billion of exports declared in 2019, resulting in 12,000 enterprises getting an additional 1.3 billion yuan of rebates paid this year. SCN.

SZ fashion: Shenzhen has released an ambitious blueprint to become a global fashion center. Through government support with subsidies, by 2024, Shenzhen is expected to be “Asia’s leading and world-renowned cutting-edge fashion industry capital.” Successful applicants will be able to get subsidies of up to 8 million yuan each for investment projects. SZN.

Guangshen upgrade: The entire Guangshen Expressway – the main artery linking Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou – will be rebuilt by 2026 into a 12-lane superhighway, the government has announced. SCN.

Digital currency ready? China’s sovereign digital currency is looking like it has finished its preliminary testing – much of which took place in Shenzhen – and is ready for rollout. But it needs some legal standing, first. Global Times. 

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