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.

Bikes boom: Shenzhen’s bike-rental community saw a surge in business over the recent Labor Day holiday. The number of bike rides was nearly 3.4 times that of the recent Qingming holiday, while average riding distance and average riding time were up 14% and 16% respectively from the week before the holiday. SZN.

Qingyuan beckons: Qingyuan, a rural city north of Guangzhou, has decided to muscle into the Greater Bay Area’s tech development by throwing out a series of incentives to attract talent to its high-tech zone. The measures include housing allowances, living subsidies, and cash grants for post-graduate degree-holders. Startup entrepreneurs can also get rental subsidies and cheap office space. SCN.

Lessons not learned: Dozens of gullible parents in Shenzhen have been duped by fraudsters into paying fictional teachers for “training and preparation” ahead of the recent resumption of classes across the city. Some were able to infiltrate WeChat groups set up by class parents. SCN.

Trade support: Loans to companies in Dongguan engaged in foreign trade surged in the first three months of this year, due to the epidemic. As of the end of March, the balance of loans to foreign trade enterprises by banking institutions was 117.975 billion yuan, an increase of 45.167 billion yuan or 62.04% over the same period last year. Among them, the balance of trade finance of the banking industry in Dongguan was 83.661 billion yuan, an increase of 24.655 billion yuan over the beginning of the year, an increase of 159.93% YoY. DG.

Property split: The slide in Hong Kong’s property market is dividing analysts at investment banks who are telling clients different stories on the outlook for home prices this year. Morgan Stanley tempered its forecast for a 5% price rise this year, as economic reports last quarter disappointed. JPMorgan Chase is keeping to a 10% drop in prices. Citibank is calling the bottom of the market. SCMP.

Cheers! Bars will reopen across Hong Kong today after a month-long coronavirus shutdown, as Lan Kwai Fong venues prepare to slash prices and the nightlife hub’s founder predicts takings as low as half normal levels. More than 100 frontline workers have been tested for the virus, while pubs and bars will only be allowed to operate half-full to a maximum of four people per table. Many are offering “free flow” for set prices to entice drinkers. SCMP.

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