GBA Briefs: 4/9/2020

Not so fast: Hong Kong businesses could start applying for subsidies on wage bills under the new HK$137.5 billion relief package in June, the welfare chief has said, as he admitted there could be difficulties in ensuring it was properly administered. SCMP.

Nice, but what about rent? Reaction by business owners to the Hong Kong bailout package has been mixed, with many saying it helps, but not enough. A common complaint: wages are only one part of the challenge; the other is rent, and landlords aren’t helping. SCMP.

Bulk buy: As part of the HK$130 billion bailout measures announced yesterday, the Hong Kong government will buy 500,000 tickets directly from the city’s beleaguered airlines. Analysts and industry executives say it is a drop in the bucket. SCMP.

Orchestral manoeuvres: The Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra is resuming its season with a series of three concerts over the remainder of this month, starting tomorrow. There’s just one catch: they won’t be playing in front of any live audiences, as the concerts will be streamed online. Tomorrow’s concert, which features Brahms’ First Piano Concerto and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7, will be broadcast the following day (April 11) on Tencent Video, at 8pm. SZN.

SOEs in the cloud: Shenzhen’s state-owned enterprises are going digital: a signing ceremony was held today to launch the Shenzhen Smart City Big Data Center, a collaborative effort between China Unicom, Huawei and Tencent, which is intended to put all of the city’s SOEs in “the cloud” and ensure that all of their public services can be accessed and operated online. SZN.

Retailers go live: Live-streaming during the coronavirus epidemic has accelerated the transition of Shenzhen’s retailers, with more than 70% having switched to online sales, according to official data. SZN.

Shenzhen U patents: According to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s rankings of patents filed by educational institutions, Shenzhen University in 2019 once again ranked third, with 247 patents, second only to the University of California and Tsinghua University. SZN.

New homes in Guangzhou: Nearly 70% of Guangzhou residents have indicated a desire to buy a new home within the next three years, according to a survey by property portal Leju. Around 50% said it would be for their own use, while 20% said it would be for investment. Leju.

Wild animals ban: Guangzhou has followed Shenzhen in banning the breeding and consumption of wild animals. DY.

Milk tea craze: Consumption of “milk tea” in Guangzhou has soared during the recent epidemic, more than tripling during February and March. DY.

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