GBA Briefs: 4/8/2020

Rebound begins: Demand for travel, cosmetics, outdoor gear and food has surged in recent weeks as policy-driven stimulus kicked in, workers returned to offices and factories and the government started easing restrictions on people’s movement. Transport bookings rose more than 50 per cent, while hotel reservations increased by 60 per cent during the three-day tomb-sweeping Qingming Festival, according to Trip.com Group. Online retail orders have likewise boomed, according to e-commerce site Pinduoduo. SCMP.

HK spends big: Tens of thousands of Hong Kong workers will have up to half of their wages paid by the government under a HK$130 billion package of measures to help businesses and residents. Most of the relief fund – equivalent to 3.5% of GDP – will go towards the wage plan, set to last for six months, which will target affected industries. SCMP.

Canton Fair online: The Canton Fair will be held online in mid- to late-June, according to the State Council. China’s biggest trade fair was suspended earlier this month due to the coronavirus. Now it is envisaged that the exhibition center in Guangzhou’s Pazhou district will host exhibitors conducting video-streaming sessions and all transactions will be handled online. SCN.

E-commerce boost: Alibaba and JD.com are putting significant resources into boosting SMEs in their systems, both companies announced. Daniel Zhang, Alibaba CEO, said: “We will deploy the power of commerce and technology that Alibaba has harnessed over the past 20 years to create new supply chains, stimulate new demand, and promote new trade through a series of aggressive measures.” SCMP.

WeChat for voting: Guangzhou is setting up a WeChat voting system for property owners, to decide issues related to property management. Issues to be voted on include election of owners’ committee or replacement of owners’ committee members, standards and charges related to property management services, and the renewal, selection and dismissal of property service enterprises. SCN.

Apps for taxpayers: Taxpayers in Guangdong appear to prefer using smartphone apps for handling their tax affairs, including payments and refunds, as about 99.4% have chosen to submit their annual filings this way. SCN.

R&D leads: Guangdong-based enterprises spent around 300 billion yuan on R&D last year, accounting for around 2.8% of GDP, the highest in the country. SCN.

 

Dongguan chases: Dongguan has big plans to catch up as a base for live-streaming e-commerce, with Taobao Live data showing the city ranked fourth in the province, behind Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Foshan. DGT. 

Cargo refits: At least 10 Chinese and international airlines have managed to retrofit their planes to haul goods instead of people. China Eastern Airlines increased its freight capacity last month by modifying the internal structure of some of its planes, which will carry electronics and Tesla automotive parts when flying back to China from other countries this month. Caixin.

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