GBA Briefs: 4/23/2020

Zones connect: Shenzhen and Zhuhai are about to open a ferry service running between their two special economic zones of Qianhai and Hengqin. The service will begin on May 1 and cost 65 yuan each way. The Hengqin ferry port will also have a service running out to Zhuhai’s Dong’ao island, a tourist resort run by Gree, Zhuhai’s biggest private company. SZN.

IPR cases soar: Shenzhen’s courts handled more than 40,000 cases related to intellectual property rights last year, 1,306 of which were related to companies from overseas, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. SZN.

Property flood: Stung by reports of coronavirus relief financing leading to a surge in its housing market, Shenzhen’s Housing Bureau had a press conference yesterday to reiterate its determination to crack down on speculation. It also announced that in the coming year, it would release 63,000 new homes onto the market, as well as 40,000 subsidized housing units. SZN.

Guangzhou holds up: Guangdong’s capital saw its first-quarter GDP drop by the same rate as the country, -6.8% YoY, yet there were bright spots among the data: while manufacturing was hammered, the services sector saw output continue to grow YoY, led by financial services, which rose 8.7% YoY. Online retail sales were also strong, up 38%. Exports, surprisingly, stayed in positive territory, up 2.7%, led by Belt and Road Initiative countries, up 12%. DY.

Dongguan dives: Dongguan saw its first-quarter GDP by -8.8% YoY. Hardest hit was manufacturing, which fell -14.2%, while services were down -2.7%. Exports were down -13%. Production of masks and other medical equipment, however, has been ramping up fast: 130 masks were shipped in March alone. DGT.

Alibaba sees potential: China’s biggest e-commerce company is investing heavily in upgrading Dongguan’s manufacturing and trading capabilities. Joint ventures between Alibaba and the city government are focused on  launching a “C2M” super factory plan for exporters, while also expanding sales channels domestically via Tmall and Taobao Live platforms. Most recently, Taobao University and 1688 SME Business School have set up in the city. DGT.

Zhuhai-Zhongshan connect: Officials of Zhuhai and Zhongshan have agreed to work more closely on integrating their approach to establishing transport connections to the rest of the Greater Bay Area. Joint planning will take place for railway network design and construction, while construction of expressways will be better coordinated. SCN.

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