China Coronavirus Updates: Latest Developments and Business Advisory

Posted by Written by Reading Time: 64 minutes

(This article will be updated continuously. It was last updated on September 25, 2020.)

Latest COVID-19 updates

  • September 25 – China reported 8 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Beijing, and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 18 new asymptomatic infections (16 imported from abroad) were reported; 398 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (396 imported from abroad).
  • September 24 – China reported 7 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (2 cases in Liaoning, 2 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Jiangsu, 1 case in Guangxi, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 20 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 402 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (all imported from abroad).
  • Health officials in Ruili, in southwest China’s Yunnan province, ended their citywide quarantine measures (see our update from September 17) at 10 pm Monday, according to a local public notice. Businesses have been allowed to reopen today, with the exception of public venues like bars, internet cafes, karaoke joints, bathhouses, and cinemas. Schools will reopen in phases, starting Saturday. Authorities in Yunnan province will continue to tightly monitor its long and porous border with Myanmar, where COVID-19 has reportedly infected more than 6,100 people. “Apart from the two imported cases, no local cases nor local transmission of the virus were found,” the Yunnan government said in a statement.
  • Breaking News: According to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Immigration Administration on Wednesday, foreign nationals holding valid Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters, and reunion can enter China without applying for new visas – effective from 0 am, September 28, 2020. If these 3 categories of residence permits as held by foreign nationals have expired (in the time since the travel ban was imposed on March 28, 2020) – the holders may apply for relevant visas by presenting the expired residence permits and relevant material to the Chinese embassies or consulates on the condition that the purpose of the holder’s visit to China remains unchanged (see here). All other measures in the March 26 Announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Immigration Administration on the Temporary Suspension of Entry by Foreign Nationals Holding Valid Chinese Visas or Residence Permits (see here) will continue to be implemented.
  • September 23 – China reported 10 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Shandong, and 1 case in Henan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 18 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were recorded; 385 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (all imported from abroad).
  • September 22 – China reported 6 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Shanghai, and 1 case in Yunnan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 15 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were recorded; 391 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (390 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 21 – China reported 12 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Inner Mongolia, 2 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Yunnan, 2 cases in Shaanxi, and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 25 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were recorded; 397 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (396 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 20 – China reported 10 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Henan); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 21 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were recorded; 382 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (381 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 19 – China reported 14 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (6 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Liaoning, and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 24 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were recorded; 374 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (373 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 18 China reported 32 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (13 cases in Shaanxi, 12 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Tianjin, 3 cases in Guangdong, and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). The country reported 20 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 366 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (365 imported from abroad).
  • Ruili, a city in China’s southwest province of Yunnan that borders Myanmar, is under strict lockdown, after new cases emerged this week that were linked to travelers from Myanmar and Indonesia. Besides two Burmese nationals, all the imported cases to Yunnan were Chinese nationals. (See Yunnan Health Commission records from September 14, September 15, September 16, and September 17 in Chinese.)
    Home to about 200,000 residents, people in Ruili have been ordered to stay at home and authorities have erected control checkpoints to prevent anyone entering or leaving the city and have restricted border access to areas nearby. In addition to the current 48 border patrol checkpoints, Ruili will set up another 188. The Guardian reports that more than 360 testing sites have been set up with almost 1,200 people deployed to conduct testing around the clock. Most businesses have shut down temporarily; no public venues are open except for essential establishments like pharmacies.
    Meanwhile, China and Myanmar are also cracking down on illegal border crossings after 2 out of 6 people who illegally crossed in from Myanmar were found to be COVID positive. Local officials say that “at least 8 prefectures and 25 counties that border Myanmar in Yunnan have entered wartime status”.
  • September 17 – China reported 9 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Henan, 1 case in Guangdong, and 1 case in Yunnan); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 14 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 354 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (353 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 16 – China reported 12 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Fujian, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Guangdong, 1 case in Yunnan, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 16 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 361 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (360 imported from abroad).
  • September 15 – China reported 8 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Shanghai, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Sichuan, and 1 case in Yunnan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 9 new asymptomatic infections (all imported) were recorded; 361 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (360 imported from abroad).
  • As of Sunday, September 13, mainland China had a total of 85,194 confirmed infections of the coronavirus, according to the National Health Commission. The COVID-19 death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.
  • September 14 – China reported 10 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Fujian, 2 cases in Yunnan, and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; 3 new suspected cases, all imported cases (all in Shanghai). 39 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 378 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (377 imported from abroad).
  • September 13 – China reported 10 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Zhejiang, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Henan, 1 case in Guangdong, 1 case in Guangxi, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 70 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 357 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (356 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 12 China reported 6 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (2 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). There were 8 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 299 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (298 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 11 – China reported 15 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (8 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Liaoning, 1 case in Sichuan, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 22 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 311 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (309 imported from abroad).
  • September 10 China reported 7 new confirmed cases, all imported from abroad (6 cases in Shanghai and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 15 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 301 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (299 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 9 – China reported 2 new confirmed cases, all imported from abroad (1 case in Shanghai and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; 5 new suspected cases, all imported from abroad (all in Shanghai). 8 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were recorded yesterday; 308 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (306 imported from abroad).
  • Under direction from the People’s Bank of China, banks in China have become stricter about opening new bank accounts since April 2020, especially for newly established companies – no matter whether it is a domestic company or a foreign-invested company. China Briefing addresses some of the changes here: How to Open a Bank Account in China: New Requirements after COVID-19.
  • September 8 – China reported 10 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (5 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 13 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 324 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (322 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 7 – China reported 12 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Tianjin, and 1 case in Chongqing); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 17 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 329 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (321 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 6 – China reported 10 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Shaanxi, 2 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Gansu); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, all imported cases (both in Shanghai). 17 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were recorded; 329 cases of asymptomatic infection were still under medical observation (320 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 5 China reported 10 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Yunnan, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There 8 new asymptomatic infections (all imported); 338 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (327 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 4 – China reported 25 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (13 cases in Guangdong, 5 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangxi, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 26 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 358 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (345 cases imported from abroad).
  • Chinese state media announced Wednesday that starting Thursday, the country is resuming direct flights from eight countries, including Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, and Canada. As reported by the Global Times: “The first direct international flight will be operated by Air China from Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, according to a statement on the website of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).”
  • September 3 – China reported 11 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (6 cases in Shaanxi, 3 cases in Guangdong, and 2 cases in Sichuan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 12 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 349 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (334 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 2 – China reported 8 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Liaoning, and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There are 19 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 353 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (336 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 1 – China reported 10 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Tianjin, 3 cases in Hebei, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Shanghai, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 34 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 356 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (334 imported from abroad).
  • August 31 – China reported 17 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (6 cases in Shanghai, 5 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Fujian, 1 case in Shanxi, 1 in Zhejiang, 1 in Guangdong, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 19 new asymptomatic infections (all imported); 340 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (312 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 30 – China reported 9 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Fujian, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Tianjin, and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 4 new asymptomatic infections (all imported); 338 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (305 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 29 – China reported 9 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Fujian, 2 cases in Guangdong, and 2 cases in Sichuan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 10 new asymptomatic infections (all imported); 351 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (311 cases imported from abroad).
  • According to official sources, foreign nationals with valid residence permits (employment, personal affairs, and reunion) from a list of 13 Asian countries (in addition to 36 European countries – see update from August 13) can apply for visas at their local Chinese embassies/consulates to enter China. The 13 applicable Asian countries are: Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
  • August 28 – China reported 9 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Sichuan, 3 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, all imported cases (all in Shanghai). There were 16 new asymptomatic infections (all imported); 358 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (313 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 27 China reported 8 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Hebei, and 2 cases in Shanghai); no new death cases; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). There were 19 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 365 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (317 cases imported from abroad).
  • Now that the pandemic is in remission in some countries, China is gradually loosening its borders. China Briefing profiles three types of successful applicants of China’s special visas (M-visas, S2-visas) with some additional observations: Foreigners’ Special Visa Application and Entry into China: 3 Case Studies.
  • August 26 China reported 15 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (5 cases in Sichuan, 4 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Tianjin, and 1 case in Yunnan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 14 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 365 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (311 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 25 – China reported 14 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Sichuan, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Hebei, and 1 case in Liaoning); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 16 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 374 cases of asymptomatic infections are now under medical observation (315 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 24 – China reported 16 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Fujian, 3 cases in Sichuan, 3 cases in Yunnan, 1 case in Shanxi, and 1 case in Shandong); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). There were 27 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 374 asymptomatic infections are under medical observation (306 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 23 – China reported 12 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (5 cases in Hebei, 2 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Shaanxi, and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, all imported cases (all in Fujian). There were 15 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 370 asymptomatic infections are under medical observation (289 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 22 – China reported 22 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (13 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Hebei, 3 cases in Shandong, 2 cases in Shaanxi, and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). There were 34 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 366 asymptomatic infections are under medical observation (276 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 21  China reported 22 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (11 cases in Shanghai, 6 cases in Tianjin, 3 cases in Shandong, 1 case in Jiangsu, and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 23 new cases of asymptomatic infections (22 imported from abroad); 353 cases of asymptomatic infections are under medical observation (248 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 20 China reported 7 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Jiangxi, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Shanghai, 1 case in Shandong, and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 22 new cases of asymptomatic infections (21 imported from abroad); 352 cases of asymptomatic infections are under medical observation (235 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 19 – China reported 17 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (8 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Zhejiang, 2 cases in Shaanxi, and 1 case in Shandong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 14 new asymptomatic infections (13 imported from abroad); 345 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (221 cases imported from abroad). This is the third consecutive day that Xinjiang has reported zero new local cases and the first day with no asymptomatic infection recorded; the local outbreak began July 15 and was centered in the capital, Urumqi.
  • Transport authorities in both China and the US have doubled the current four weekly round-trip flights to eight round-trip flights for airlines from each country. Chinese authorities are now using their experience in handling multiple outbreaks to manage exposure to imported cases, which likely means more international travelers will be able to enter the country – also indicated by the decision to reopen visa channels for 36 European countries.
  • August 18 – China reported 22 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (14 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Jiangsu, 2 cases in Tianjin, and 2 cases in Shaanxi, and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. Health authorities reported 17 new cases of asymptomatic infections (16 imported from abroad); 356 cases of asymptomatic infections are under medical observation (221 cases imported from abroad).
  • Chris Devonshire-Ellis discusses some of the major concerns affecting businesses invested in Asia today and how they can overcome ongoing economic uncertainties. You can access his TV interview to Todologisticas in Brazil here: Dezan Shira’s Chris Devonshire-Ellis on Handling COVID-19: “It’s What You Do Next That Matters”. Dezan Shira & Associates have an office in Brazil headed up by Patrícia Varejão, and are well known in South America for assisting Mercosur-based companies to establish sales channels and market entry facilities in Asia, including China, ASEAN, and India.
  • August 17 China reported 22 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (8 cases in Guangdong, 4 cases in Yunnan, 3 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Shaanxi, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Shandong). There were no new cases in Xinjiang. Also, no new deaths were reported. 2 new suspected cases were recorded – all imported cases in Shanghai. 37 new asymptomatic infections (36 imported from abroad) were reported; 351 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (209 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 16 China reported 19 new confirmed cases, including 4 local cases (all in Urumqi, Xinjiang) and 15 imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Shaanxi, 2 cases in Tianjin, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Sichuan). There were no new deaths; 1 new suspected case was recorded – an imported case in Fujian. 16 new asymptomatic infections (11 imported from abroad) were reported; 319 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (176 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 15 China reported 22 new confirmed cases, including 8 local cases (7 cases in Urumqi, Xinjiang and 1 case in Guangdong) and 14 imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Jiangsu, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, and 1 case in Guangdong). There were no new deaths; 1 new suspected case was recorded – imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 20 new asymptomatic infections (13 imported from abroad) were reported; 318 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (175 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 14 – China reported 30 new confirmed cases, including 8 local cases (all in Xinjiang) and 22 imported cases (16 cases in Shanghai, 5 cases in Shaanxi, and 1 case in Sichuan). There were no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases (both imported cases in Shanghai). 28 new asymptomatic infections (24 imported from abroad) were recorded; 309 cases of asymptomatic infections are under medical observation (167 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 13 – China reported 19 new confirmed cases, including 8 local cases (all in Xinjiang) and 11 imported cases (4 cases in Shandong, 2 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Sichuan, and 1 case in Hebei). There were no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, which was an imported case (in Shanghai). 20 new cases of asymptomatic infections (15 imported from abroad) were recorded; 295 cases of asymptomatic infections are under medical observation (150 cases imported from abroad).
  • On August 10, The PRC Embassy in Denmark announced that foreign nationals who hold valid residence permits (including work permits and permit for family reunion and personal matters) in the following 36 European countries may now apply for Chinese visas at any Chinese embassy or consulate within the stipulated countries: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, and the United Kingdom. More on this: China Reopens Borders, Visa Channels to 36 European Countries and China’s Travel Restrictions due to COVID-19: An Explainer (Updated).
  • August 12 – China reported 25 new confirmed cases yesterday, including 9 local cases (all in Urumqi, Xinjiang) and 16 imported cases (6 cases in Guangdong, 4 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Shandong, 1 case in Sichuan, and 1 case in Shaanxi). There were no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai) ). 20 new asymptomatic infections (12 imported from abroad) were recorded; 288 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (141 cases imported from abroad).
  • The rising number of imported cases has led to authorities in Shanghai taking immediate action. 18 confirmed cases were imported into Shanghai on Sunday through 2 international flights. According to reporting by CGTN: “All the imported cases were Chinese nationals flying from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Among them, three passengers arrived in the city on August 6, having flown directly from the UAE a day earlier. The remaining 12 landed in the city on August 7 coming from the Gulf country via Sri Lanka.” The Civil Aviation Administration of China has punished one of the airlines (responsible for more than 10 imported cases) by suspending its flight route for 4 weeks. Under the latest guidelines, airlines have to suspend flights on their China-bound route for a week if at least 5 passengers test positive for COVID-19. If that number exceeds 10, flights will be suspended for 4 weeks (‘circuit-breaker period’). Meanwhile, Shanghai will be hosting the annual China International Import Expo (CIIE) in November and will be taking all measures to ensure the virus situation is under control.
  • August 11 – China reported 44 new confirmed cases, including 13 local cases (all in Xinjiang) and 31 imported cases (9 cases in Shaanxi, 8 cases in Shanghai, 6 cases in Shandong, and 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Gansu, 1 case in Hebei, 1 case in Heilongjiang, and 1 case in Zhejiang). There were no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, all imported cases (1 case in Shanghai and 1 case in Fujian). 17 new asymptomatic infections (6 cases imported from abroad) were recorded yesterday; 285 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (137 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 10 – China reported 49 new confirmed cases on Sunday, including 14 local cases (all in Xinjiang) and 35 imported cases (18 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Shandong, 4 cases in Sichuan, and 3 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Shaanxi, 2 cases in Liaoning, and 1 case in Zhejiang); no new deaths. There was 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 31 new asymptomatic infections (24 imported from abroad) were recorded; 283 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (136 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 9 – China reported 23 new confirmed cases, including 15 local cases (all in Xinjiang) and 8 imported cases (5 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Shanghai, and 1 case in Zhejiang); no new deaths. There were no new suspected cases. 11 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were recorded; 270 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (119 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 8 – China reported 31 new confirmed cases, including 25 local cases (all in Xinjiang) and 6 imported cases (2 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Shandong, 1 case in Hubei, and 1 case in Guangdong). There were no new deaths; 5 new suspected cases were reported, all imported cases (all in Shanghai). 14 new asymptomatic infections (6 imported from abroad) were recorded; 271 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (113 cases imported from abroad).
  • With the looming possibility of a US-China technology decoupling amid an ongoing pandemic and global economic slowdown, China is improving its incentive schemes for the integrated chip and software industries – tax breaks, favorable financing, IP protection, and support for R&D, import and export, and talent development etc. China Briefing briefly breaks down the updated incentive structure, which will apply to all companies registered in China. Read it here: China’s Incentives for Integrated Circuit, Software Enterprises.
    Meanwhile, China has also released the draft of the 2020 edition of the Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment to seek public opinion. The 2020 FI encouraged catalogue includes two lists – one for the whole country and the other one for the central, western, and northeastern regions – identifying industries where foreign direct investment (FDI) will be welcome and treated with favorable policies. Compared with the 2019 edition, the proposed 2020 FI encouraged catalogue has been further lengthened, with 125 new industries added and 76 previously listed industries amended. We discuss the proposed sector openings and preferential policies here: How China’s Draft 2020 Encouraged Catalogue Improves Foreign Investor Access.
  • August 7 China reported 37 newly confirmed cases, including 27 local cases (26 cases in Urumqi, Xinjiang, 1 case in Beijing) and 10 imported cases (7 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Liaoning, 1 case in Jiangsu, 1 case in Sichuan). There were no new deaths and 2 new suspected cases, all of which were imported cases in Shanghai. Yesterday, 14 new cases of asymptomatic infections (4 cases imported from abroad) were recorded; 273 cases of asymptomatic infection are under medical observation (112 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 6 – China reported 37 new confirmed cases, including 30 local cases (27 cases in Urumqi, Xinjiang and 3 cases in Liaoning) and 7 imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Shandong, and 1 case in Shaanxi). There were no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 20 new asymptomatic infections (7 cases imported from abroad); 282 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (117 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 5 China reported 27 new confirmed cases, including 22 local cases (all in Urumqi, Xinjiang) and 5 imported cases (2 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Sichuan, 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 24 new asymptomatic infections (10 imported from abroad) reported yesterday; 272 cases of asymptomatic infections are currently under medical observation (114 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 4 – China reported 36 newly confirmed cases, including 30 local cases (28 cases in Urumqi, Xinjiang and 2 cases in Liaoning) and 6 imported cases (4 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Shanghai, and 1 case in Sichuan). There were no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, which is an imported case (in Shanghai). The country recorded 21 new asymptomatic infections (12 cases imported from abroad); 264 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (112 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 3 – China reported 43 new confirmed cases, including 36 local cases (28 cases in Xinjiang, 8 cases in Liaoning); 7 imported cases (3 cases in Jiangsu, 2 cases in Shandong, 1 case in Liaoning, 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; 3 new suspected cases, all of which were imported cases (all in Shanghai). 11 new asymptomatic infections (3 imported from abroad) were reported; 257 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (102 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 2 – China reported 49 newly confirmed cases, including 33 local cases (30 cases in Xinjiang, 3 cases in Liaoning) and 16 imported cases (4 cases in Sichuan, 3 cases in Shandong, 3 cases in Hubei, and 2 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Shanghai, and 1 case in Fujian). There were no new deaths, no new suspected cases. The country recorded 20 new asymptomatic infections (9 imported from abroad) with 257 cases of asymptomatic infection still under medical observation (101 cases imported from abroad).
  • August 1 – China reported 45 newly confirmed cases, including 39 local cases (31 cases in Xinjiang, 8 cases in Liaoning) and 6 imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai and 2 cases in Guangdong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 23 new cases of asymptomatic infections (11 imported from abroad); 252 cases of asymptomatic infection were still under medical observation (99 cases imported from abroad).
  • July 31 – China reported 127 newly confirmed cases, including 123 local cases (112 cases in Xinjiang, 11 cases in Liaoning) and 4 imported cases (3 cases in Guangdong and 1 case in Tianjin). There were no new deaths and 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). The country recorded 11 new asymptomatic infections (5 imported from abroad) yesterday; 246 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (93 cases imported from abroad).
  • July 30 – China reported 105 newly confirmed cases, including 102 local cases (96 cases in Urumqi, Xinjiang, 5 cases in Liaoning, and 1 case in Beijing) and 3 imported cases (1 case in Guangdong, 1 case in Yunnan, and 1 case in Shaanxi). There were no new deaths; 1 new suspected case was an imported case (in Shanghai). China reported 21 new asymptomatic infections (1 imported from abroad); 280 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (90 cases imported from abroad).
  • The COVID-19 crisis has many companies facing significant operational, financial, and strategic challenges and we believe that the risk of internal fraud will reach unprecedented levels. Companies need to be extra vigilant and prepare in advance. Register for our forthcoming webinar, “Preventing Fraud Risks in the Time of Crisis” on August 11, to learn about important anti-fraud actions that companies can take to reduce their losses and mitigate fraud risks in the long run. See here for how to register.
  • Given how the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact how business is conducted in China and across much of the world, China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released official rules in March this year endorsing the use of electronic labor contracts. We explain five of the key steps and considerations for employers when executing their labor contracts online in China here: How to Sign an Electronic Labor Contract in China: Your-5-Step-Guide.
  • Caixin breaks down the numbers emerging from the latest outbreak in northeast China: The Liaoning province port city of Dalian has reported 44 cases since last week, and Beijing’s first patient in 21 days (confirmed Tuesday) has been connected to an asymptomatic carrier from Dalian – the two met in Jinzhou, another Liaoning city. Caixin reports: “Cases linked to the Dalian outbreak, which is thought to have originated with a seafood importer, have been detected in cities in five provincial-level regions, including the southern province of Fujian and as far north as Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces”, Zhao Lian, deputy director of Beijing’s health authority, said Tuesday. Dalian has a population of 6.7 million people and prior to this outbreak had reported months of ‘near-zero daily rises’. Local municipal authorities say that more than 70% of those who have tested positive either work at the same seafood company or are related to those who do.
  • July 29 – China reported 101 new confirmed cases, including 98 local cases (89 cases in Urumqi, Xinjiang, 8 cases in Liaoning, 1 case in Beijing) and 3 imported cases (2 in Guangdong and 1 in Shanghai); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. The country recorded 27 new asymptomatic infections (8 imported from abroad); 273 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (91 cases imported from abroad).
  • July 28 – China reported 68 new confirmed cases, including 64 local cases (57 cases in Urumqi, Xinjiang, 6 cases in Liaoning, and 1 case in Beijing) and 4 imported cases (2 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Beijing, and 1 case in Yunnan). There were no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 34 new asymptomatic infections (6 imported from abroad) were recorded in the country; 306 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (88 cases imported from abroad).
  • On Sunday, a second wave of mass testing began in Urumqi, according to the state paper The Global Times, which tested residents who had previously tested false negative. This follows a mass testing effort launched in mid-July, during which about 65% of residents have been tested so far, as per a local press conference on Friday. Experts have not confirmed the origin of the Xinjiang cluster, which have till date infected 178 people (see updates starting July 17).
  • July 27 – China continues to report a surge in local cases, with clusters recorded in three separate regions sparking fears of another wave of the outbreak just as the country began navigating a route to opening up to facilitate increased international travel and public activity.
    As of 24:00 Monday, the National Health Commission reported that China recorded 61 newly confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, including 57 local cases (41 cases in Urumqi, Xinjiang, 14 cases in Liaoning, and 2 cases in Jilin).
    There were 4 imported cases (2 in Inner Mongolia, 1 in Fujian, and 1 in Sichuan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases.
    There were 44 new cases of asymptomatic infection (1 imported from abroad) out of which 31 became confirmed cases (1 imported from overseas) on the same day; 302 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (88 cases imported from abroad).
  • July 26 – China reported reported 46 new confirmed cases, including 35 local cases (22 in Xinjiang, 13 in Liaoning) and 11 imported cases (5 cases in Inner Mongolia, 3 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Shandong). There were no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, all imported cases (1 in Inner Mongolia, 1 in Shanghai). China reported 68 new asymptomatic infections (8 imported from abroad); 292 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (91 cases imported abroad).
  • July 25 – China reported 34 new confirmed cases, including 29 local cases (20 cases in Xinjiang and 9 cases in Liaoning) and 5 imported cases (2 in Shanghai, 2 in Guangdong, and 1 in Inner Mongolia). There were no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, including 1 imported case (in Shanghai) and 1 local case (in Liaoning). There were 74 new asymptomatic infections (2 imported from abroad) recorded and 251 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (90 cases imported from abroad).
  • Massive testing is underway in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, which is battling a coronavirus outbreak right now. 2.3 million COVID-19 tests were completed as of Thursday, and testing capacity is being increased to cover all 3.5 million residents in the region. Yesterday alone, 680,000 tests were conducted, according to The Global Times.
  • Announcement of the Civil Aviation Administration, the General Administration of Customs, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the boarding of passengers on flights to China with a negative certificate of the new coronavirus nucleic acid test: Chinese and foreign passengers who come to China by flight must complete the nucleic acid test within 5 days before boarding. Tests should be conducted at facilities designated or recognized by Chinese embassies in host countries. Passengers must bear legal responsibilities if they provide fake test results. Chinese embassies will carefully assess the testing capacity of host countries and formulate travel procedures when testing conditions are met. See here for the official link to the announcement.
  • July 24 – China reported 21 new confirmed cases, including 15 local cases (13 cases in Urumqi, Xinjiang, 2 cases in Liaoning) and 6 imported cases (5 cases in Guangdong and 1 case in Shanghai); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 43 new cases of asymptomatic infections (9 imported from abroad); 204 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (96 cases imported from abroad).
  • On Thursday, the State Council issued new quarantine rules for overseas travelers flying to China, who may now choose to do the second half of the mandatory 14-day quarantine at home, should they:
    – have tested negative for COVID-19 before boarding their China-bound flight; and
    – be able to safely quarantine at home.
  • Chinese cinemas reopened earlier this week in low-risk areas, with clear social distancing guidelines, limited seating offered. Parks, tourist resorts, and indoor venues, including gyms, libraries, and museums reopened at half capacity on Monday in Beijing after reporting zero new local coronavirus infections for 14 consecutive days; as of its July 23 update, Beijing has gone 17 days with no local cases reported.
  • Since July 19, there are only two high-risk and three medium-risk areas identified in China, all in Urumqi, Xinjiang.
  • July 23 – China reported 22 new confirmed cases, including 19 local cases (18 cases in Urumqi, Xinjiang and 1 case in Liaoning) and 3 imported cases (1 case in Shanghai, 1 case in Guangdong, and 1 case in Shaanxi). There were no new deaths; 3 new suspected cases, including 2 imported cases (both in Shanghai) and 1 local case (in Liaoning). There were 31 new asymptomatic infections (7 imported); 176 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (89 cases imported).
  • July 22 – China reported 14 newly confirmed cases, including 9 local cases (all in Urumqi, Xinjiang) and 5 imported cases (2 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangdong, and 1 case in Yunnan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 22 new cases of asymptomatic infections (8 imported cases), out of which 14 asymptomatic cases were recorded in Urumqi. Overall, 164 cases of asymptomatic infection are under medical observation (84 cases imported).
  • The Civil Aviation Administration of China has published a statement on its website requiring that passengers flying to China must provide negative COVID-19 test results before they board the flight. The aviation authority also stipulated that the nucleic acid tests must be completed five days before embarking. (See CAAC statement here.)
  • Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, recorded 5 asymptomatic cases on Monday, July 20; between July 15 and July 21, the region reported 55 confirmed cases of COVID-19. By Monday, 3,119 people were put under medical observation.
  • July 21 – China reported 11 new confirmed cases, including 8 local cases (7 cases in Urumqi, Xinjiang and 1 case in the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps) and 3 imported cases (2 cases in Shanghai and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases.
    6 new asymptomatic infections (1 imported case) were reported in the last 24 hours and 149 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (80 imported cases).
  • July 20 – China reported 22 newly confirmed cases, including 17 local cases (all in Xinjiang) and 5 imported cases (3 in Sichuan, 1 in Inner Mongolia, and 1 in Shandong); no new deaths; and 1 new suspected case – imported in Shanghai.
  • July 19 – China reported 16 new confirmed cases, including 13 local cases (all in Xinjiang) and 3 imported cases (2 cases in Guangdong and 1 case in Shandong); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case in Shanghai that was imported. 42 new cases of asymptomatic infections (12 imported) were recorded; 147 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (87 cases imported).
  • Rui Baoling, director of Urumqi’s disease control and prevention center, said the confirmed cases, all in Tianshan district, were linked to a cluster outbreak. As per local media, the first person who tested positive on Thursday was a 24-year-old woman who worked at a shopping center in the Tianshan district.
  • Urumqi, a city of 3.5 million people and capital of Xinjiang, has been under lockdown since Thursday.
    Feng Zijian, the deputy director of China’s Center for Disease Control said the team, headed by officials from the National Health Commission, arrived in Xinjiang on Saturday to assess the situation, as per reporting by China Newsweek magazine. A team of 21 medical technicians from Wuhan, the original epicenter of China’s COVID-19 outbreak, arrived in Urumqi on Saturday morning, according to Changjiang Daily. They will be joined by colleagues from Jiangsu and Sichuan provinces to help local medical staff carry out nucleic acid tests, news portal thepaper.cn reported.
    All residential compounds in Urumqi are being sealed off and public gatherings have been banned under the lockdown. The Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region borders Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan went into total lockdown July 5 after it reported a spike in coronavirus infections and ‘unknown’pneumonia cases.
  • July 18 – China has been battling a fresh outbreak in Xinjiang after recording its first new case after 150 days on Thursday. In its Saturday morning update, China’s National Health Commission reported 22 new confirmed cases in the country, including 16 new local cases (all in Xinjiang). There were also 6 imported cases reported in other parts of China (3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Shandong, and 1 case in Fujian). There were no new deaths and 1 new suspected case – a local case in Xinjiang.
    Overall, there were 14 new cases of asymptomatic infections (5 imported) recorded; 109 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (77 cases imported). Beijing, which was hit by a cluster COVID-19 outbreak last month, reported a single asymptomatic case on Friday after 12 days with no infections at all, as per SCMP.
  • According to reporting by SCMP, Urumqi – capital of China’s Xinjiang region – went into sudden lockdown on Thursday after confirming 1 new local COVID-19 patient and 3 asymptomatic cases.
  • July 17 – China reported 10 newly diagnosed cases, including 9 imported cases (4 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Shanghai, 1 case in Jiangsu, 1 case in Shandong, 1 case in Guangxi, and 1 case in Shaanxi) and 1 local case (in Xinjiang); no new deaths; 1 newly suspected case, imported, in Shanghai. 5 new cases of asymptomatic infection (2 imported cases) were recorded and there are 104 cases of asymptomatic infection (79 imported cases) currently under medical observation.
  • July 16 – China reported 1 newly confirmed case in the last 24 hours, which was an imported case (in Shanghai); no new deaths or suspected cases. 2 cases of asymptomatic infections (1 imported case) were recorded and there are 104 cases of asymptomatic infections (81 imported cases) currently under medical observation.
  • July 15 – China reported 6 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported (3 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Shanxi, 1 case in Chongqing, and 1 in Yunnan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 4 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded in the last 24 hours, all imported. There are 110 asymptomatic cases now under observation (87 cases imported).
  • July 14 – China reported 3 newly confirmed cases (all imported cases in Shanghai) in the last 24 hours; no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 5 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported cases) were recorded in the country; there are now 110 asymptomatic cases under medical observation (87 imported cases).
  • July 13 – China reported 8 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported (4 cases in Inner Mongolia, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Shanghai, and 1 case in Shandong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases.
    6 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all cases imported) were recorded in the last 24 hours with no conversion to confirmed cases; 8 cases under medical observation were released yesterday (of which 5 cases were imported). There are 110 cases of asymptomatic infections (85 cases imported) under medical observation as of Monday’s official update.
  • July 12 – China reported 7 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Shanghai, and 1 case in Zhejiang); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 5 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported) were added; 112 cases of asymptomatic infection were in medical observation (84 cases imported).
  • July 11 – China reported 2 newly confirmed cases, both imported (1 case in Liaoning and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 4 new cases of asymptomatic infections (3 imported cases) were reported; 111 cases of asymptomatic infection (82 cases imported) are under medical observation.
  • July 10 – China reported 4 newly diagnosed cases, all of which were imported from abroad (1 case in Shanxi, 1 in Inner Mongolia, 1 in Liaoning, and 1 in Shanghai); no new deaths; 3 new suspected cases. 3 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded yesterday but there was no conversion to the confirmed case; 2 cases of medical observations were released on the same day. There are 113 cases of asymptomatic infection (82 cases imported) under medical observation. Beijing reported no new confirmed, asymptomatic, or suspected cases on Thursday.
  • July 9 – China reported 9 newly diagnosed cases, all of which were imported from abroad (3 cases in Liaoning, 3 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangdong, and 1 in Sichuan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 6 new cases of asymptomatic infections (5 imported cases) were recorded yesterday, one of which was converted to the confirmed case; 10 cases of medical observations were released on the same day (4 cases imported). There are 112 cases of asymptomatic infection (79 cases imported) under medical observation. Beijing reported no new confirmed cases for the third day in a row.
  • Given these uncertain times, foreign investors choosing to do business in China or assessing their options for market entry need to be more flexible and cost effective in their strategies.
    China Briefing discusses an alternative market entry mode, called Global Staffing Solutions, that alleviates the stress on businesses to establish a corporate entity and outsources the day-to-day management of employee payroll and the entity’s tax compliance to a local firm. To learn more, read here: Planning for Uncertainty: Global Staffing Solutions to Facilitate Your China Market Entry.
  • July 8 – China reported 7 newly diagnosed cases, all of which were imported from abroad (4 cases in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Shanxi, 1 case in Guangdong, and 1 in Yunnan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 6 new cases of asymptomatic infections (5 imported cases) were recorded yesterday but there was no conversion to confirmed cases; 3 cases of medical observations were released on the same day (all imported). There are 117 cases of asymptomatic infection (79 cases imported) under medical observation.
  • July 7 – China reported 8 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported (2 cases in Liaoning, 2 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, both imported (1 case in Inner Mongolia and 1 case in Shanghai).
    15 new cases of asymptomatic infections (14 imported cases) were recorded yesterday; 2 cases were converted to confirmed cases on the same day (both imported); 8 cases under medical observation were released on the same day ( 7 imported cases). There are 114 cases of asymptomatic infection still under medical observation (77 imported cases).
  • July 6 – China reported 4 newly confirmed cases, including 3 imported cases (1 in Inner Mongolia, 1 in Liaoning, and 1 in Shaanxi) and 1 local case (in Beijing); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. The country recorded 11 cases of asymptomatic infections (10 imported cases) in the last 24 hours; there are 109 cases of asymptomatic infections (72 imported cases) under medical observation as of the latest update released Monday.
  • July 5 – China reported 8 newly confirmed cases, including 6 imported cases (3 in Gansu, 1 in Tianjin, 1 in Shanghai, and 1 in Sichuan) and 2 local cases (both in Beijing); no new deaths; 1 newly suspected case (imported) in Shanghai. The country reported 7 cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported cases), there were 99 cases of asymptomatic infections (63 cases imported overseas) under medical observation.
  • July 4 – China reported 3 newly diagnosed cases, including 2 imported cases (1 in Shanghai and 1 in Guangdong) and 1 local case (in Beijing); no new deaths; 2 newly suspected cases, including 1 imported case (in Shanghai) and 1 local case (in Beijing). There were 4 cases of asymptomatic infections (3 imported cases); there were 98 cases of asymptomatic infections (61 imported cases) under medical observation.
  • July 3 – China reported 5 newly confirmed cases, including 2 local cases (both in Beijing) and 3 imported cases (1 in Liaoning, 1 in Shanghai, 1 in Yunnan); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case in Beijing. 4 new local cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded (3 imported cases); 97 cases of asymptomatic infection (59 imported cases) are still under medical observation.
  • Anxin county in Hebei province has been under strict lockdown since Sunday when officials announced that it would be “fully enclosed and controlled”, as reported by BBC. The lockdown, which will affect around 400,000 people, is part of China’s immediate response to contain the spread of the cluster in Beijing and limit the possibility of a second wave in the country. Anxin county is around 150 km (90 miles) south of Beijing and reported new cases in the last two weeks connected to the Beijing cluster. However, given Anxin is not as densely populated, local officials remain optimistic they can stop the spread of the virus.
  • China Briefing has published its latest magazine issue titled: Opportunities for Foreign Investors in China’s Service Industries After COVID-19. It is available as a complimentary download on the Asia Briefing Publication Store. In this edition, we focus on how key industries in China’s services sector have entered into a new normal since the COVID-19 outbreak. Linked to this pandemic-triggered disruption, we provide an overview of the emerging opportunities for foreign investors already based in China or those strategizing market entry. Finally, we spotlight two major industries impacted by COVID-19 – healthcare and food and beverages, where new opportunities represent the larger trends towards technology mobilization, industrial upgrades, and online retail.
  • China recently announced a series of fee reductions for businesses in order to stabilize their economic outlook and to shore up market confidence amid the ongoing pandemic. The latest cuts include reductions and waivers to electricity fees, port costs, highway tolls, telecommunication rates, and oil liability insurance. If taken together with the cuts introduced since the outbreak started, companies are expected to save around RMB 310 billion (US$44 billion) over the course of this year. To learn more, read our article here.
  • July 2 – China reported 3 new confirmed cases, including 1 local case (in Beijing) and 2 imported cases (1 in Shanghai and 1 in Guangdong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 2 new local cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded; 99 cases of asymptomatic infection (60 imported cases) are still under medical observation.
  • July 1 – China reported 3 newly confirmed cases (all local cases in Beijing); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases (imported cases, both in Shanghai). 3 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded (all imported cases); 100 cases of asymptomatic infection (63 imported cases) are still under medical observation.
  • June 30 – As per this morning’s update, in the last 24 hours, China reported 19 newly diagnosed cases, including 8 local cases (7 cases in Beijing and 1 case in Shanghai) and 11 imported cases (4 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Sichuan, and 1 case in Gansu); no new deaths; and 1 new suspected case (imported case) in Shanghai. With the addition of 4 cases of asymptomatic infections (3 imported cases), there are now 99 cases of asymptomatic infection under medical observation (60 imported cases).
  • June 29 – China reported 12 newly confirmed cases, including 7 local cases (all in Beijing) and 5 imported cases (3 in Sichuan, 1 in Liaoning, and 1 in Shanghai); no new deaths; 4 new suspected cases (all local cases in Beijing). With the addition of 6 cases of asymptomatic infections (5 imported cases), there were still 102 cases of asymptomatic infection under medical observation (63 imported cases).
  • June 28 – China reported 17 newly diagnosed cases, including 14 local cases (all in Beijing) and 3 imported cases (1 in Shanghai, 1 in Shaanxi, 1 in Gansu); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case (local case in Beijing). With the addition of 7 cases of asymptomatic infections (4 imported cases), there were still 106 cases of asymptomatic infection under medical observation.
  • June 27 – China reported 21 newly diagnosed cases, including 17 local cases (all in Beijing) and 4 imported cases (2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Shanghai, 1 case in Gansu); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported overseas (in Shanghai).With the addition of 12 cases of asymptomatic infections (8 imported cases), there were 106 cases of asymptomatic infection under medical observation.
  • June 26 – China reported 13 newly diagnosed cases, including 11 local cases (in Beijing) and 2 imported cases (both in Shanghai). There were 3 new suspected cases, all local cases in Beijing, and no new deaths. 5 new cases of asymptomatic infection (4 imported cases) were recorded yesterday; 97 cases of asymptomatic infections are under medical observation.
  • June 25 – China reported 19 newly diagnosed cases, including 14 local cases (13 cases in Beijing and 1 case in Hebei) and 5 imported cases (3 in Gansu, 1 in Guangdong, and 1 in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 1 new case of asymptomatic infection (imported) was recorded yesterday; 97 cases of asymptomatic infections are under medical observation.
  • According to reporting by Reuters, the National Health Commission has said that mainland China is capable of “conducting nucleic acid tests on 3.78 million people per day, compared with 1.26 million people in early March”. On Wednesday, Guo Yanhong, an official at the health commission, briefed media that this is “an increase of 200% as of June 22”.
  • June 24 – China reported 12 newly confirmed cases today. This includes 9 local cases (7 cases in Beijing, 2 cases in Hebei) and 3 imported cases (2 in Shanghai and 1 in Shaanxi). No new deaths. 4 new suspected cases were recorded, all local cases in Beijing. There are 3 new cases of asymptomatic infections (1 imported case); 100 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation.
  • June 23 – The National Health Commission’s update for Tuesday showed 22 newly diagnosed cases. There are 13 new local cases, all in Beijing, and 9 new imported cases (7 in Gansu, 1 in Jiangsu, 1 in Shaanxi); no new deaths. There are 2 new suspected cases (both in Beijing). There are 7 new cases of asymptomatic infections (5 imported cases); 99 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation.
  • June 22 – On Monday, China reported 18 newly diagnosed cases – 11 local cases (9 cases in Beijing, 2 cases in Hebei) and 7 imported cases (3 in Shanghai, 2 in Shaanxi, 1 in Tianjin, 1 in Liaoning); no new deaths. There were 2 new suspected cases – both local cases in Beijing, epicenter of the latest cluster outbreak. There were 7 new cases of asymptomatic infections (1 imported case) reported; 114 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation.
  • June 21 – On Sunday, China updated the following COVID-19 situation over the 24-hour period: China reported 26 newly diagnosed cases, including 25 local cases (22 in Beijing, 3 cases in Hebei) and 1 imported case (in Fujian); no new deaths. There were 3 new suspected cases, all local cases (all in Beijing). There were 6 new cases of asymptomatic infections (2 imported cases) reported; 111 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation.
  • From Reuters – “A total of 2.3 million nucleic acid tests had been carried out in Beijing as of 0600 local time on Saturday (2200 GMT on Friday), Zhang Qiang, an official from Beijing’s municipal committee, said at a news conference.”
  • June 20 – On Saturday, China updated the following COVID-19 situation over the 24-hour period: 27 newly diagnosed cases, including 23 local cases (22 cases in Beijing and 1 case in Hebei) and 4 imported cases (3 cases in Guangdong and 1 in Shanghai); no new deaths. There were 4 new suspected cases, all local cases (all in Beijing). There were 7 new cases of asymptomatic infections (5 imported cases) reported; 108 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation.
  • A further five residential compounds in Beijing were designated as being at higher risk on Thursday; as of the last update, there is one high risk and 31 medium risk residential compounds in the city. More than 356,000 people have been tested over a 5-day period, with strict monitoring of at risk neighborhoods. Schools are closed, flights cancelled, and travel restricted. On Wednesday, Beijing raised its emergency response level from level three to level two.
  • The director for China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, has said that the latest COVID-19 cluster in the country, traced to Beijing’s Xinfadi wholesale food market, may have broken out a month earlier but went undetected due to asymptomatic infections. The Guardian quotes Gao, speaking at a seminar in Shanghai on Tuesday, “A lot of asymptomatic or mild cases were detected in this outbreak and that is why the environment has such amount of virus.” Addressing its similarity to the Wuhan outbreak, the Chinese CDC chief epidemiologist, Wu Zunyou, told state paper, Global Times, on Monday, that cold and wet places were conducive to virus survival.
  • June 19 – China reported 32 newly diagnosed cases today – 28 local cases (25 cases in Beijing, 2 in Hebei, and 1 in Liaoning) and 4 imported cases (3 in Guangdong and 1 in Gansu). There are 2 new suspected cases, both local ones (both in Beijing). 5 cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded Thursday, and there 110 cases of asymptomatic infections under medical observation.
  • June 18 – China today reported 28 newly confirmed cases. There were 24 local cases (21 cases in Beijing, 2 in Hebei, and 1 in Tianjin) and 4 imported cases (2 cases in Shanghai, 1 in Shaanxi, and 1 in Gansu); no new deaths. 3 new suspected cases were reported, all local (all in Beijing). 8 new cases of asymptomatic infections (2 cases imported abroad) were recorded; there are 111 cases of asymptomatic infections under medical observation now.
  • China has halted its salmon imports over possible links to the Beijing outbreak as consumers of fish products are being over cautious. Experts have, however, said that no evidence thus far has shown that fish can carry the disease. China’s state media had reported that the coronavirus was discovered on chopping boards used for imported salmon at the Xinfadi market. While this indicates that cross-contamination has been likely, China is taking no chances. Investigations at the market continue alongside mass testing and contact tracing.
  • Cities across China have warned that they will quarantine arrivals from Beijing. Shandong, Zhejiang, Sichuan, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Fujian, and Shanghai have all introduced a range of quarantine measures for travelers from Beijing.
  • Compounds neighboring Xinfadi have been fenced off with 27 now designated medium risk and one designated high risk. The Beijing government has called for residents of medium- and high-risk areas, as well as those related to the Xinfadi market, to not leave Beijing. Other residents should not leave the city if travel is not necessary. Those who have to leave should first report a negative nucleic acid test result that is no older than 7 days. All exhibitions, sports events, and shows will be stopped and tourist services to other provinces and overseas stand suspended. All outbound taxi and car-hailing services were also suspended on Tuesday.
  • Beijing’s emergency response was moved to the second highest risk level late on Tuesday night, barely two weeks after it had been lowered. The outbreak has caused authorities to reimpose a partial lockdown on all residents. “People from“key areas” – which are defined as estates, markets or neighborhoods with confirmed COVID-19 patients – are banned from leaving Beijing,” SCMP reported.
  • Reporting from SCMP: “There are now 137 patients linked with the sprawling Xinfadi wholesale food market, plus three suspected cases and a further six people who have tested positive for the disease but are yet to develop symptoms. The eastern province of Zhejiang also reported one confirmed case – a vendor from the market who was diagnosed after returning to his home in Wenling.”
  • June 17 – Beijing reported 31 new infections today as the Xinfadi COVID-19 cluster continues to grow case numbers, also linked to 1 new case in Zhejiang province. As per the National Health Commission’s official update today, China reported 44 newly confirmed cases, including 33 local cases (31 cases in Beijing, 1 case in Hebei, and 1 case in Zhejiang) and 11 imported cases (10 in Gansu and 1 in Sichuan); no new deaths were recorded.
  • China Briefing article update as Beijing combats an outbreak and the rest of China is labeled low-risk: China’s Travel Restrictions due to COVID-19: An Explainer.
  • All the 32 local cases reported over the last 24 hours can be traced back to the Xinfadi food wholesale market in Beijing, where the cluster outbreak has now affected at least 106 people.
  • June 16 – China continues to see the impact of its latest COVID-19 cluster, which broke out last week after 55 days of no new cases in the capital. However, clearly defined control measures are now in place to contain such outbreaks, including contact tracing efforts, lockdown of residential and commercial areas, mass testing, etc.
    According to today’s official update by the National Health Commission, the country reported 40 newly diagnosed cases, including 32 local cases (27 in Beijing, 4 in Hebei, 1 in Sichuan) and 8 imported cases (3 in Shanghai, 3 in Guangdong, 1 in Inner Mongolia, and 1 in Liaoning); no new deaths were reported.
  • Zhou Yuqing, deputy head of Fengtai district, where the market is located, Wang Hua, party secretary of Huaxiang township, and Zhang Yuelin, the market’s general manager, were all sacked on Sunday “for negligence”.
  • SCMP notes: “Yang Peng, an epidemiologist from Beijing Centre for Disease Control and Prevention told state broadcaster CCTV that initial investigation of genome sequencing showed the virus was imported from Europe, but researchers still needed to work out exactly how it had started the chain of infection. One possibility was that frozen food had been contaminated by someone infected with COVID-19 and the low temperature had preserved the virus during transport. “People then could have been infected by coming into contact with the contaminated seafood or meat in the market and further spread the virus,” Yang said.”
  • Local cases reported in China since last Thursday in Liaoning (2) and nearby Hebei province (3) have all been linked to Xinfadi food market.
  • Beijing authorities have asked people who visited the Xinfadi market over the past 14 days to self-quarantine/ stay at home.
  • Reporting by SCMP sums up the situation in Beijing right now: the total number of people affected by the fresh outbreak amount to 79 – “all of them linked to the Xinfadi wholesale market, a food distribution center in southern Beijing, which occupies 107 hectares and supplies food to northern provinces like Shandong, Shanxi, Hebei and Liaoning.” The paper further states: “Li Junjie, deputy chief of the city’s Haidian district, said on Monday that 10 residential estates around Yuquandong market, which had COVID-19 cases linked to Xinfadi, would be locked down.”
  • June 15 – China reported on Monday that there were 49 newly diagnosed cases in the past 24 hours. This includes 39 local cases (36 cases in Beijing, 3 cases in Hebei) and 10 imported cases (4 cases in Sichuan imported from Egypt; 2 cases in Chongqing involving travelers from India; 2 cases in Shaanxi involving travelers from Russia and Pakistan; 1 case in Shanghai involving travel from the US; and a case in Fujian involving travel from Ghana). There were no new COVID-19 fatalities.
  • June 14 – As more test results came in and contract tracing efforts zeroed in on the impact of the Beijing outbreak, China witnessed a significant rise in its local confirmed cases on Saturday. In its Sunday update, the National Health Commission stated that there were: 57 newly diagnosed cases, out of which there were 38 local cases (36 in Beijing and 2 in Liaoning) and 19 imported cases (17 cases in Guangdong, 1 case each in Shanghai and Chongqing). No new deaths were recorded. 9 new cases of asymptomatic infections (6 imported from abroad) were recorded out of which 2 local cases were confirmed on the same day. There were 103 asymptomatic cases under observation.
  • Beijing has now imposed lockdown measures in parts of the city. Southern Fengtai district, where the Xinfadi market is located, has more than 2 million residents – 11 residential compounds as well as schools in the district have been closed by authorities, according to media reports. There are new restrictions on movement, sports events have been suspended, and tourism from outside the area has been barred. Chu Junwei, a district official, is on the record saying the district is in “wartime emergency mode”.
  • June 13 – China confirmed a fresh cluster at Xinfadi, a major wholesale food market in Beijing and makes up about 80 percent of the city’s entire farm produce supply.
    Altogether, 11 newly confirmed cases were reported, including 5 imported cases (1 case each in Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangdong, Hainan, and Sichuan) and 6 local cases (all in Beijing). Among the local cases in Beijing, 3 cases were of workers in the Xinfadi food market, 2 cases involved visitors to the market, and 1 person was a work colleague of one of the visitors. 139 close contacts of the people infected have been placed in quarantine. Beijing is expected to test more than 10,000 people who work at the market and anyone who has been to the market since the end of May.
    No new deaths were reported Saturday. 7 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded in the last 24 hours; there were 98 cases of asymptomatic infections under medical observation.
  • The Singapore-China fast lane has been established only for essential business and official travel between the two countries. Both countries have implemented strict international travel curbs due to COVID-19. The fast lane came into operation June 8, 2020 and enables travel between six provinces (Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Zhejiang) in China and Singapore. We briefly cover the details on how the travel arrangement works here: The Singapore-China Fast Lane to Facilitate Business Travel: Key Features.
  • June 12 – China today reported 7 newly diagnosed cases over the last 24 hours, including 6 imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai and 1 case in Fujian) and 1 case in Beijing; no new deaths. 1 new (imported) case of asymptomatic infection was reported yesterday; there are 104 asymptomatic cases currently under medical observation.
  • Beijing has just reported its first locally transmitted case of COVID-19 after 55 days (no new case had been reported since April 15). According to the South China Morning Post, the patient is a 52-year-old man from Xicheng district, who reported intermittent fever, symptoms of chills and fatigue but no cough, sore throat, or chest pain; the details were confirmed by Miao Jianhong, the deputy district chief. The patient has 2 family members who are now in isolation and under medical observation. Authorities are now conducting an epidemiological investigation to trace the source of infection and have closed the residential compound where he lives.
  • June 11 – China witnessed an uptick in imported cases in the last 24 hours. The National Health Commission today reported 11 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported (6 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, and 1 case each in Tianjin and Fujian). There have been no new deaths. 4 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded, 3 of which were imported. There are 129 cases of asymptomatic infection still under medical observation.
  • June 10 – China reported 3 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported (2 cases in Inner Mongolia and 1 case in Tianjin); no new deaths. Yesterday, the country recorded 5 new cases of asymptomatic infections; there are 155 cases of asymptomatic infection in medical observation.
  • June 9 – China’s National Health Commission reported 3 newly confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, all of which were imported (2 cases in Guangdong and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths. 21 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded yesterday; currently, there are 174 cases of asymptomatic infection under medical observation.
  • Companies are facing significant operational, financial, and strategic challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak, although the spread of the virus has slowed down and the situation appears to be stabilizing in different regions around the world. Such times of economic turmoil, however, is when most businesses become vulnerable to acts of fraud. In the era of COVID-19, where employees are troubled by travel restrictions and when working-from-home (WFH) is the new normal, multinational companies (MNCs) in China are finding themselves particularly exposed to the risk of fraud. It is thus more critical than ever for them to assess possible fraudulent risks within the organization and see through fraudsters’ schemes in advance. Read more here: Business Risk Management in China in the Era of COVID-19.
  • June 8 – According to China’s National Health Commission, 4 newly confirmed (all imported) cases were reported in Sichuan (3) and Shanghai (1). There are 201 cases of asymptomatic infection in medical observation with 2 new such cases reported on Monday.
  • June 7 – The National Health Commission reported on Sunday that 6 new cases had been recorded in the last 24 hours, including 5 imported cases (2 cases in Shaanxi and 1 case each in Tianjin, Fujian, and Guangdong). The local case was reported in Hainan. No new deaths were recorded. With the addition of 5 new cases, there were 236 cases of asymptomatic infection under medical observation.
  • June 6 – China reported 3 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (in Guangdong); no new deaths. 2 new cases of asymptomatic infections were reported; there were 257 cases of asymptomatic infection under medical observation.
  • Meanwhile, we have continued reports on China Briefing on Beijing’s policy measures to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 induced economic stress. This includes the extension of preferential policies relaxing tax and fees and social insurance payments to the end of 2020. Read our roundups from the Two Sessions here: Tax and Fee Cuts Announced in China’s 2020 Work Report: Two Sessions Roundup and Tracking China’s Preferential Policies Released Since the 2020 Two Sessions.
  • In response to China’s relaxation of travel restrictions, the US Transport Department said that it would allow Chinese carriers to operate “the same number of scheduled passenger flights as the Chinese government allows ours… to restore a competitive balance and fair and equal opportunity among U.S. and Chinese air carriers.”
    As reported in state newspaper Global Times, China had launched its ‘Five One’ policy at the end of March as the global COVID-19 outbreak worsened, “allowing one airline to serve one country, from one Chinese city to one foreign city, with no more than one flight a week.”
  • More information of China’s international flight restrictions:
    a) According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China’s (CAAC) Thursday announcement (posted on its website), foreign carriers barred from China due to the earlier restriction will be allowed to resume operating 1 flight per week into China starting June 8. Airlines will be limited to flying routes they are already licensed to fly and can choose from a list of Chinese cities provided by the CAAC.
    b) If a flight has 5 passengers testing positive for COVID-19, the airline must suspend the flight for a week. If 10 passengers in a flight have tested positive, the airline must suspend the flight for 4 weeks. If there are zero passengers testing positive for three consecutive weeks, then the airline can add one more flight for a week.
    c) The suspended flights cannot operate on other air routes. Airlines cannot resume weekly flight plans before the end of their suspension period.
    d) The announcement came a day after the US said it would be banning all Chinese airlines from June 16 due to their unwillingness to allow the resumption of US airlines flying into China.
  • June 5 – China’s National Health Commission reported 5 newly confirmed case over the last 24 hours, all of which were imported (4 cases in Shanghai and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths. The country recorded 3 new cases of asymptomatic infections; there are now 297 cases of asymptomatic infections under medical observation.
  • China’s Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has said that qualifying foreign air carriers that are currently barred from operating flights to the country will be allowed once-per-week flights “into a city of their choosing,” from June 8.
  • As we reported earlier, China has been in talks with some countries to establish fast track procedures to allow limited travel by business and technical personnel. China has now set rules for essential business travel between Singapore and China, with effect from June 8. Thus, China has now established fast track agreements with Germany, France, South Korea, UK, Japan, and Singapore. (We wrote about the special visa applications to travel to China here.)
  • June 4 – China’s National Health Commission reported 1 newly confirmed case over the last 24 hours, (imported case in Guangdong); no new deaths. The country recorded 4 new cases of asymptomatic infections; there are 326 cases of asymptomatic infections (43 cases were imported) under medical observation.
  • According to a US Department of Transportation order, dated June 3, the Trump administration will bar Chinese passenger airlines from flights to the country starting June 16 due to Beijing’s failure to allow US airlines resuming service to China. Meanwhile, Air China, China Eastern, and China Southern have been able to operate direct passenger flights to the US (at reduced frequencies) during this time. If the US ban goes into effect, the Chinese carriers affected include Air China, China Eastern, China Southern Airlines, and Hainan Airlines Holding as well as their subsidiaries.
  • June 3 – China’s National Health Commission reported 1 newly confirmed (imported) case in the last 24 hours, (in Guangdong); no new deaths. 4 new asymptomatic infections have been recorded and 357 cases of asymptomatic infection (40 cases were imported) are under medical observation currently.
  • Wuhan, where the COVID-19 outbreak first emerged, has found no new cases after testing nearly 11 million residents. However, 300 asymptomatic carriers have been identified, according to city officials as reported by Reuters. “…the asymptomatic carriers had been found not to be infectious, with no traces of virus detected on items used by the 300 people, such as masks, toothbrushes and phones, or on door handles and elevator buttons they touched. The cost of the city-wide testing effort was about 900 million yuan ($126 million)”. Testing in Wuhan began after a cluster of fresh cases emerged in early May leaving local authorities fearful of a second wave; the campaign ended June 1. The epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan, has so far accounted for a majority of coronavirus infections and COVID-19 related fatalities in China.
  • Some foreign employees who have been unable to return to China due to the ongoing international travel restrictions may wish to receive their Chinese salary in their overseas bank accounts in foreign currency. We explain some of the key HR, tax, and legal considerations here: COVID-19 Travel Ban Series: How to Pay Your Foreign Employees Out of China.
  • June 2 – China’s National Health Commission reported 5 newly confirmed cases today, all of which were imported from abroad (2 cases in Sichuan, 1 in Shanghai, 1 in Guangdong, and 1 in Shaanxi); no new deaths. With the addition of 10 cases of asymptomatic infection, there are now 371 cases of asymptomatic infection (39 imported cases) under medical observation.
  • Caixin Global is reporting that Li Jian, deputy chief of China’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) told state media last week that China will not triple the number of regular international flights to 407 a week, starting June 1, as previously planned due to the global outbreak situation. However, the CAAC will shorten the process for approving international chartered flights to 3 working days from up to 7.
    Meanwhile, China has reached agreement with Singapore, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland to establish “green channel” movement to facilitate the return to work / travel of businesspeople, experts, and skilled workers in foreign companies or foreign invested firms. China Briefing has covered the new relaxations in international travel here: China’s Travel Restrictions – Special Visa Applications.
    China closed its borders to international travel, including those with valid work permits, on March 28. Since then, “the maximum number of flights allowed have been capped at 134 a week”, Li told China News, according to Caixin.
  • June 1 – China reported 16 newly diagnosed cases, all imported (11 cases in Sichuan, 3 cases in Inner Mongolia, and 2 cases in Guangdong); no new deaths. 16 new cases of asymptomatic infections (13 cases imported overseas) were recorded; there are 397 cases of asymptomatic infection (34 cases were imported) under medical observation.
  • May 31 – China reported 2 newly confirmed cases on Saturday, both imported cases (in Shandong); no new deaths. 3 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded; 389 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation.
  • The National Development and Reform Commission, National Health Commission, and State Administration of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) jointly released the Plan to develop public health prevention, control and treatment abilities on May 20, 2020. The Plan aims to develop the country’s lab testing capacity, treatment facilities in county-level hospitals, improve the infectious disease treatment network in urban areas, transform and upgrade epidemic treatment bases in each province in case of future outbreaks, among other goals. These policy goals and investment plans are similar to those promoted after the 2002-03 SARS epidemic. However, the stakes will be much higher for China to follow through this time round.
  • More than 9 million residents in Wuhan were tested between May 15 and May 24 (about 90% of its total population). The city’s health commission asked the rest of its residents to get tested by May 26 at one of the city’s 231 remaining testing sites. According to Bloomberg, Wuhan was able to test its residents in such a short span of time by adopting “a batch testing method that enabled health workers to assess as many as 10 samples simultaneously.” A negative combined sample result clears all members of the sampled group. And while you won’t know who in the batch is positive if you get a positive in the sample, it will immediately trigger individual testing and overall enables the rapid screening of different areas, according to Raina MacIntyre, professor of global biosecurity at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. However, as explained by Peng Zhiyong, director of intensive care unit at Wuhan Zhongnan Hospital, the method is only efficient when the infection rate is below 1 percent.
  • May 30 China reported 4 newly confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, all of which were imported cases (2 cases in Shandong, 1 case in Shanghai, and 1 case in Guangdong); no new death cases. 4 additional cases of asymptomatic infections were reported; 396 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation.
  • May 29 – China reported no new confirmed cases, no new deaths, and no new suspected cases. A total of 82,995 confirmed cases have been reported so far. 5 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded and there 409 asymptomatic infections currently under medical observation.
  • May 28 – China reported 2 newly confirmed cases, both of which were imported cases (1 case in Shanghai and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths. The National Health Commission reported the addition of 23 cases of asymptomatic infections; there are still 413 cases of asymptomatic infections (24 cases imported from abroad) under medical observation.
  • As the Two Sessions comes to a close this week, here is a brief recap from Monday when National People’s Congress (NPC) Chairman Li Zhanshu delivered the NPC’s annual work report.
    The NPC will prioritize the drafting of 10 new laws – Yangtze River Protection Law, Rural Revitalization Promotion Law, Futures Law, Hainan Free Trade Port Law, Social Assistance Law, Veterans Protection Law, Biosecurity Law, Personal Information Protection Law, Data Security Law, and the Export Control Law.
    In addition, the NPC will seek to amend 15 laws – Patent Law, Wildlife Protection Law, Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, Frontier Health and Quarantine Law, Emergency Response Law, Vocational Education Law, Administrative Penalties Law, People’s Armed Police Law, Anti-Money Laundering Law, People’s Bank of China Law, Commercial Bank Law, Insurance Law, Organic Law of National People’s Congress and Rules of Procedure, Electoral Law, and the National Flag Law.
    To give some perspective – the NPC only sought to draft or amend 14 laws last year. They are aiming for 25 this year.
  • If in previous years China was using its national power to drive the realization of 5G, and the private sector worried about the commercial use and profit model of 5G – the outbreak of COVID-19 has dramatically changed prospects in a matter of months. Besides driving a major chunk of the workforce online, the outbreak has witnessed the mass adoption of 5G applications, particularly in the public health sector, as well as accelerated the integration of 5G with existing and emerging technologies. Read our latest coverage here: COVID-19 Catalyzes Commercial Use of 5G in China.
  • May 27 – China reported 1 newly confirmed case, involving a person who traveled from overseas (in Shanghai) and no new deaths on Wednesday. 28 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded and 404 cases of asymptomatic infections are under medical observation now.
  • May 26 – China reported 7 newly diagnosed cases today – all imported cases (5 cases in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Shanghai, and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths. A total of 82,992 confirmed cases have been reported so far. There were 29 new cases of asymptomatic infections and 403 cases of asymptomatic infections are currently under medical observation.
  • China’s top leaders have convened for the annual Two Sessions meetings since Thursday, following over two months of delays due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This year the Two Sessions takes on added importance, as investors wait to see what the government will announce to revitalize China’s economy out of a coronavirus-induced crisis. China Briefing briefly summarizes the key announcements unveiled by China’s leaders at the ongoing Two Sessions meetings here: China’s Two Sessions 2020: What Have We Learnt So Far.
  • May 25 – On Monday, China’s National Health Commission reported a fresh cluster of imported cases. Over the last 24 hours, the country recorded: 11 newly confirmed cases, imported from abroad (10 cases in Inner Mongolia and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; 40 new cases of asymptomatic infections (2 cases imported overseas) and 396 cases of asymptomatic infection under medical observation.
  • May 24 – On Sunday, China reported 3 newly confirmed cases over the last 24 hours, including 2 imported cases (1 in Shanghai and 1 in Guangdong) and 1 local case (in Jilin); no new deaths. There were 36 new cases of asymptomatic infections and 371 cases of asymptomatic infections are under medical observation.
  • May 23 – China reported no new cases or deaths in the last 24 hours in its Saturday update. There were 28 new cases of asymptomatic infections and 370 cases of asymptomatic infections are under medical observation.
  • China will not be setting an annual GDP target this year, according to Premier Li Keqiang at the National People’s Congress (NPC), which began today. This will be the first time China is not putting out the economic goal since 1990. China will “give priority to stabilizing employment and ensuring living standards,” Li said during his opening address. Beijing has set a target of “creating 9 million new urban jobs, compared to 11 million last year, and a surveyed urban unemployment rate of around 6 percent, compared to 5.5 percent last year”, as reported by SCMP.
    Li told the NPC: China’s fiscal deficit is expected to go over 3.6 percent of the GDP this year, showing a deficit increase of RMB 1 trillion (US$140 billion) over last year. RMB 1 trillion of government bonds will be issued for the purpose of COVID-19 control. Corporate fees/ taxes will be cut by RMB 2.5 trillion. Bloomberg is reporting that small and medium-sized businesses will be able to “delay their interest and principal payments to the end of March 2021, from an original deadline of June 30”. Further, local governments are expected to rein in expenditure and channel their ‘surplus, idle, and carryover funds’ to proper use. Beijing will work with the US to implement phase one of the trade deal and will work to advance free trade agreement talks with Japan and South Korea.
  • May 22 – China reported 4 newly diagnosed cases, including 2 imported cases (in Sichuan) and 2 local cases (both in Jilin) over the last 24 hours. A total of 82,971 confirmed cases have been reported so far. 35 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded and 365 cases of asymptomatic infections are currently under medical observation.
  • China’s most important political gathering, the Two Sessions (Lianghui), begins today after a 2-month delay. Top policy advisers to the Communist Party, the CPPCC or Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conferencewill meet today (about 2,200 representatives from social groups, economic, political, professional, business, and other organizations), following which, the annual gathering of the parliamentary body, the National People’s Congress (2,957 deputies, majority of whom are elected from the provinces, autonomous regions,  municipalities directly controlled by the central government, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao), starts tomorrow.
    This year’s Two Sessions has been shortened to 7 days (May 21-27). Premier Li Keqiang will present his economic goals for the year. China is facing its worst economic challenge in decades due to the pandemic besides the ongoing global slowdown and deteriorating relations with the US.
  • Yesterday, the central city of Wuhan – epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak – announced new rules prohibiting the consumption, hunting, and breeding of wild animals, including protected species of terrestrial animals, those that exist in the wild or are bred, and rare and endangered aquatic animals. The new rules will be in effect for 5 years. See here for the official announcement (in Chinese).
    The development follows a temporary ban introduced in January on the wildlife trade in China. On February 24, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature body, issued a decision to totally ban the illegal trade and consumption of wildlife as food, which would fast-track legal efforts on implementing a permanent ban on the trade. Subsequently, different regional governments, like the province of Guangdong, have proposed their own regulation on wildlife protection.
    China’s wildlife industry has a lot of regulatory grey areas, and is key to its traditional medicine industry besides food for consumption. Given the nature of the pandemic, and its role in the global economy, China will be keen to project itself in a positive light in terms of how it has handled post-outbreak management and what it will do to mitigate future risks.
  • May 21 – China reported 2 newly confirmed cases, including 1 imported case (in Guangdong) and 1 local case (in Shanghai); there were no new deaths. A total of 82,967 confirmed cases have so far been recorded, according to the National Health Commission. The commission also reported 31 new cases of asymptomatic infections in the last 24 hours; 375 cases of asymptomatic infections are currently under medical observation.
  • May 20 – China reported 5 newly confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, including 1 imported case (Inner Mongolia) and 4 local cases (all in Jilin); no new deaths. 16 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded and 368 cases of asymptomatic infection are currently under medical observation.
  • The state news media China Daily reported yesterday that the northeastern city of Shulan, Jilin province was “the latest pandemic hotspot in the country”. It is now under a ‘Wuhan-style lockdown‘ and hundreds have reportedly been placed in medical quarantine.
    Today, the neighboring city of Jiaohe also introduced protective measures given its proximity to such a high-risk area.
    Provinces along northeast China that border Russia and North Korea are now battling fresh outbreaks of COVID-19 and Beijing is keen to contain and eliminate the spread of infection before it leads to fresh local transmission.
    Moreover, the Two Sessions meeting, the annual general assembly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s parliament, will begin this week, on May 22 and Beijing is highly motivated to ensure there is no cause for concern. Over 5,000 delegates are expected to gather in the capital. Meanwhile, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top policy advisory body, will start its annual session on May 21.
  • May 19 – China’s National Health Commission reported 6 newly confirmed cases, including 3 imported cases in Inner Mongolia and 3 local cases (2 cases in Jilin and 1 case in Hubei) in the last 24 hours; no new deaths.
    17 new cases of asymptomatic infections were reported and 389 cases of asymptomatic infection (29 cases imported from abroad) are still under medical observation.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries worldwide, including China, have implemented travel restriction policies that have prevented the return of foreign nationals to the workforce. As a result, there will be significant changes to the residence days for the tax year 2020 for many expats who work in China. We discuss the new individual income tax (IIT) liabilities here: How to Determine Your Foreign Employees’ IIT Liability in China: COVID-19 Travel Ban Series.
  • May 18 – Tracking the data from 00.00 to 24:00 on May 17, China’s National Health Commission reported  7 newly confirmed cases, including 4 imported cases (4 cases in the province of Inner Mongolia) and 3 local cases (2 cases in Jilin province and 1 case in Shanghai); no new deaths. 18 cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded and 448 cases of asymptomatic infection are under medical observation.
  • May 17 – On Sunday, China reported 5 newly confirmed cases, including 2 imported cases (1 in Tianjin and 1 in Guangdong) and 3 local cases (in Jilin); no new deaths. 12 new cases of asymptomatic infection were recorded and 515 asymptomatic infections were under medical observation. See here for official bulletin.
  • As of May 16, Wuhan, the central Chinese city also known as the original epicenter of COVID-19, announced that its local health authorities had conducted 222,675 nucleic acid tests, double the number from the previous day, according to reporting from The Guardian. Wuhan had recorded a fresh cluster of cases last weekend and is determined to track any asymptomatic infections; the city had lifted its months-long lockdown on April 8.
  • May 16 – On Saturday, China reported 8 newly diagnosed cases, including 6 imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai and 1 in Hainan) and 2 local cases (both in Jilin); no new deaths. 13 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded; 561 cases of asymptomatic infection were still under medical observation. Official bulletin in Chinese here.
  • China is adopting multiple strategies to rebound from its economic pause due to the COVID-19 lockdowns earlier in the year. New infrastructure investments and retail growth are key goals in this regard, both to boost economic activity and facilitate consumption in a changed world. In our latest article on China Briefing, we cover China’s announcement of 46 new cross-border e-commerce zones and explain why that may interest foreign investors and traders, online retailers, and logistics firms. Read it here: 46 New Cross-Border E-Commerce Zones Unveiled by China.
  • The National Health Commission reported 4 newly confirmed cases, all of which were local cases in the northeastern province Jilin where a cluster broke out this past weekend. 11 new cases of asymptomatic infections (2 imported cases) were recorded in the last 24 hours; 619 cases of asymptomatic infections are under medical observation. China has reported a total of 82,933 confirmed cases and 4,633 deaths since the first infections were recorded late last year in the central city of Wuhan.
  • May 15 – China marks one month with no COVID-19 fatalities; the last reported death by the National Health Commission was on April 14.
  • Local media in Hong Kong are reporting that authorities will conduct testing of hundreds of families after a 66-year-old with no recent travel history tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, followed by her five-year-old granddaughter on Wednesday. The 1,051st confirmed case is the old woman’s husband, aged 62 years, who was previous asymptomatic and had initially been sent to a quarantine center. Prior to this new cluster, Hong Kong had not reported any local transmission for 23 days.
  • Testing has begun in Wuhan. The capital of Hubei province, the city is known to have recorded the first cases of COVID-19. After a clear stretch with no new cases since early April, Wuhan reported a small outbreak (cluster of 6 cases) over the last weekend. Consequently, local authorities aim to test all 11 million residents.
  • May 14 – China reported 3 newly confirmed cases in today’s official bulletin, all of which were local cases (2 cases in Liaoning and 1 case in Jilin); no new deaths. 12 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded (1 case imported overseas); 712 cases of asymptomatic infection are under medical observation (36 cases were imported from abroad).
  • May 13 – China reported cases of local transmission today with 7 newly diagnosed cases, of which 6 were local cases (all in Jilin) and 1 was imported (official bulletin here). 8 new cases of asymptomatic infections were reported and 750 asymptomatic cases are under medical observation. A total of 82,926 confirmed cases have been reported thus far.
    Meanwhile, local media is reporting that all 11 million residents will be tested in Wuhan, which reported a fresh new cluster of cases this past weekend, and is the original epicenter of the pandemic.
  • More Hong Kong enterprises with cross-border operations in mainland China are now eligible to apply for an exemption from the usual compulsory quarantine requirements. Previously, this was restricted to essential industries, such as medical and food supply. There are clear qualification criteria set by the Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department, responsible for the application process. The expanded quarantine exemption will expire June 7, 2020. To learn more, read our article here: Quarantine Exemptions Expanded, Extended for Hong Kong Enterprises with Cross-Border Operations.
  • In its official bulletin for May 12, the National Health Commission reported that there was 1 newly confirmed case recorded in the last 24 hours (imported) and no new deaths. There are 15 new cases of asymptomatic infections and 760 asymptomatic infections are under medical observation.
  • China reported no new cases of local transmission on Tuesday, after a double-digit spike over 2 consecutive days.
  • May 12 – Reuters is reporting that Wuhan (Hubei province), the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, will be arranging for city-wide nucleic acid testing over a period of 10 days. The city recorded its highest number of new infections since March 11 with 5 new cases confirmed over the past weekend. Every district in the city must submit their area’s testing plan by Tuesday, according to an internal document seen by Reuters.
    Wuhan has a population of about 11 million people and its 76-day lockdown was lifted on April 8. 6 cases had been reported on Sunday and Monday at a residential compound in Dongxihu district.
  • We provide the most updated coverage detailing China’s provincial quarantine policies for inbound travelers and other travel restrictions and monitoring here – China’s Travel Restrictions due to COVID-19: An Explainer.
  • Fearing a new portent wave of coronavirus cases in China’s northeast, one city in Jilin province – the city of Shulan – has been reclassified as high-risk. The total newly confirmed cases in Jilin (since May 8) is now reached 15.
    Reuters has reported that a cluster of new cases were confirmed in Shulan on Saturday (all of them family members of one person who tested positive as well as people they came into contact with). The city of Shulan has now implemented a lockdown of residential compounds, banned non-essential transport, and closed its schools, according to the Jilin government.
  • International media have observed that Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, has recorded its highest number of infections since March 11 with its 5 new cases over the weekend. Also problematic are the new confirmed and/or asymptomatic cases being recorded in China’s border provinces of Jilin, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, and Inner Mongolia.
  • Chinese state media is reporting that Disneyland Shanghai, the biggest of Disney’s three resorts in Asia, has reopened today. It is the first of the Disney theme parks to reopen after COVID-19 forced shutdowns worldwide. There will be restrictions on the footfall in the Shanghai theme park, and the children’s playgrounds and indoor theaters will remain shut.
    Monday’s tickets for Shanghai Disneyland was restricted to one-third of its normal daily capacity of 80,000 visitors and was sold out Friday for RMB 399 (US$56) each, as per the company.
  • On Monday, May 11, China reported reported 14 newly diagnosed cases, of which 12 were local cases (11 in Jilin and 1 in Hubei), and 2 were overseas Imported cases (in Shanghai); no new deaths. Additionally, China recorded 20 cases of asymptomatic infections (1 case imported from overseas). A total of 82,901 confirmed cases have so far been reported in the country.  See the official update in Chinese here.
  • In its Sunday briefing, the health commission reported a sudden spike in new cases. 17 newly diagnosed cases were recorded over Saturday, of which 10 were local cases (5 cases in Hubei, 3 cases in Jilin, and 1 case each in Liaoning and Heilongjiang) and 7 cases were imported from abroad (both in Inner Mongolia). In addition, there were 12 cases of asymptomatic infections. No new deaths were reported during the weekend. See the official update in Chinese here.
  • May 9-11 – China’s National Health Commission reported 1 newly confirmed case and 15 new local cases of asymptomatic infections on Saturday morning (May 9). See daily bulletin in Chinese here.
  • No locally transmitted infections have been recorded for over 18 days in Hong Kong. South China Morning Post is reporting that 4 new infections were detected in Hong Kong this week, “all involving residents returning from Pakistan. They are now in 14 days’ compulsory quarantine at an isolation center on Chun Yeung Estate in Fo Tan.”
    Social distancing rules have been eased starting Friday:
    1) Fitness centers, gaming arcades, mahjong parlors, amusement and massage centers, beauty salons, and cinemas can reopen if they follow the government’s mandatory instructions and observe health and safety precautions.
    2) Hong Kong will not allow nightclubs, saunas, party rooms, and karaoke lounges to reopen just yet, opting for a cautious staggered opening of public entertainment venues and preventing large or crowded gatherings.
    3) A plan for schools reopening has also been announced.
  • May 8 – China has reported 1 newly confirmed case today, a local case in Jilin province; no new deaths. 16 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded; 854 asymptomatic cases are under medical observation currently. A total of 82,886 confirmed cases and 6 suspected cases have been reported as per the latest tally. See here for the daily official bulletin in Chinese.
  • See our most updated table detailing China’s provincial quarantine policies for inbound travelers here – China’s Travel Restrictions due to COVID-19: An Explainer.
  • China has reported 2 newly confirmed cases over the last 24 hours, both of which were imported cases (1 in Shanghai and 1 in Guangdong); no new deaths. Also, 6 new cases of asymptomatic infections (no overseas imports) were reported; there are 880 cases of asymptomatic infections (81 cases imported overseas) under medical observation. See official bulletin in Chinese here.
  • May 7 – Starting May 7, all regions across China will be categorized as ‘low’ risk level, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV. Linkou county in Heilongjiang’s Mudanjiang city, is the last zone to adjust its risk level from ‘medium’ to ‘low.’ China remains focused on “return to work, return to production, return to business and return to market”.
  • To counter investor concerns and make doing business in China more competitive, Beijing is focusing on developing its Western Regions – Chongqing Municipality, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Yunnan, Tibet, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang, as well as regions and cities in other provinces, such as Xiangxi, Enshi, Yanbian, and Ganzhou.
    Starting January 1, 2021, enterprises will pay a lower CIT rate of 15 percent – if they make investments in encouraged industries in China’s western regions from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2030. This includes foreign invested companies. (China’s standard corporate income tax rate is 25 percent. In comparison, CIT in Vietnam is 20 percent.) To learn more, read our latest article here: China Introduces 15% Profits Tax to Qualifying Investors in its Western Regions. We have provided a complimentary English language, PDF copy of the Catalogue of Industries Encouraged to Develop in the Western Region here: Catalogue of Industries Encouraged to Develop in the Western Region.
  • The Chinese government recently introduced measures to support the new energy vehicle (NEV) industry – electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles – which was hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. The measures include the extension of tax exemptions as well as the continuation of subsidies, although the subsidy amounts have reduced. Read more: Incentives for China’s New Energy Vehicles Industry.
  • May 6 – China reported 2 newly confirmed cases, both of which were imported cases (in Shaanxi); no new deaths. A total of 82,883 confirmed cases have thus far been reported. As of Wednesday morning, 20 new cases of asymptomatic infections (3 cases imported overseas) were reported; there are 903 cases of asymptomatic infection (88 cases imported) under medical observation. See official bulletin in Chinese here.
  • The Subsidy Scheme for Encouraging Early Deployment of the fifth-generation mobile technology (5G) is open for applications until November 30 on a first come, first served basis.
    Under the Scheme, the Hong Kong government will subsidize 50 percent of the actual cost directly relevant to the deployment of 5G technology in an approved project, subject to a cap of HK$500,000 (approx. US$64,482). The Scheme is open for application from May 5, 2020 to November 30, 2020 or until the total amount of subsidy under the scheme is exhausted (whichever is earlier). Around 100 qualified projects will be subsidized. See here for details.
  • The Hong Kong government has announced a new scheme that provides a HK$100,000 (approx. US$12,896) one-off subsidy to licensed billiard establishments, public bowling alleys, and skating rinks. This opened for applications today, May 5. Holders of a valid Places of Amusement Licence issued under the Places of Amusement Regulation on March 28, 2020 will be eligible to apply. The last date for applications is May 30, 2020.
    Applications for The Catering Business (Social Distancing) Subsidy Scheme, under the second round of the Anti-epidemic Fund, will also start from May 5, according to the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department.
  • Hong Kong is easing restrictions on restaurants: up to 8 people can be allowed to a table, up from 4 earlier. 7 types of businesses can reopen, including game parlors and fitness centers but must implement health and safety guidelines, such as provision of hand sanitizers and temperature checks. There will still be restrictions on group gatherings for another 14 days from Thursday, May 7. Lam also signaled that schools may soon be allowed to reopen.
    Hong Kong had closed its borders around a week since detecting its first case and immediately began observing social distancing, the memories of the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak still clear in public minds. In fact, community efforts and people’s compliance with health and safety guidelines have been key to Hong Kong’s fight to contain the epidemic spread.
    Moreover, despite recording zero cases as early as April 20, Hong Kong extended restrictions in fears that any relaxation would set in a complacency that could result in a fresh wave of cases as seen in many countries. This has, however, meant a 3-month period of working from home, business closures, and suspension of services, resulting in the worst economic contraction at 8.9 percent since records began in 1974. Nevertheless, the stable public health situation in Hong Kong today offers a solid foundation upon which it can build a relatively quick economic recovery, unlike the case in many Western economies that continue to observe spikes in infections and deaths. Meanwhile, public health authorities in Hong Kong are keen to complete two incubation periods – 28 days – with zero infections, before declaring an end to local transmission.
  • According to Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Hong Kong stood at 1,041 with 4 fatalities; 900 recovered patients were discharged by the end of Monday, May 4. There was no community transmission cases in more than two weeks. Hong Kong recorded only 15 new cases since April 20.
  • May 5 – China has reported 1 newly confirmed case, which was imported overseas (in Shanghai); no new deaths (see official bulletin in Chinese here). The National Health Commission also reported 15 new cases of asymptomatic infections (no overseas imports). 
  • May 4 – In its Monday bulletin (access in Chinese here), China reported 3 newly confirmed cases, all imported cases (2 cases in Shanghai and 1 case in Shandong); no new deaths.
    13 new cases of asymptomatic infections were recorded; there are 962 asymptomatic infections under medical observation (98 cases imported from abroad).
    A total of 82,880 confirmed cases have so far been reported on the mainland. The death toll remains at 4,633, with no new fatality.
    No coronavirus cases have been recorded in the epicenter, Wuhan (Hubei province), for 28 consecutive days since April 4, the local health commission reported on Saturday.
  • China’s state news agency Xinhua is reporting that the country’s central province of Hubei, where the first COVID-19 cases were reported, will “lower its emergency response from the highest to the second-highest level – starting May 2, after months of strict lockdown.”
  • The National Health Commission reported 12 newly diagnosed cases, of which 6 were imported cases (5 in Shanghai and 1 in Fujian) and 6 were locally transmitted (5 cases in Heilongjiang and 1 case in Inner Mongolia). There were 25 cases of asymptomatic infections and no new deaths reported as of midnight, April 30 (see daily official bulletin in Chinese here). According to state media, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland stood at 82,874, including 1,670 imported cases and 981 asymptomatic patients under medical observation. China’s COVID-19 death toll remains at 4,643 with no new deaths reported for about two weeks now.
  • According to the health commission, as of 24:00, April 30, a total of 1,037 cases were confirmed in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (846 cases discharged, 4 deaths) and 45 cases in the Macau Special Administrative Region (35 cases discharged).
  • May 1 – China begins its five-day Labor Day holiday. The Forbidden City in Beijing has been opened to visitors, starting today, although the visitor limit has been reduced to 5,000. Social distancing norms and health precautions will be observed. Visitors will need to wear masks, show their health codes on their smartphone apps, accept temperature checks, and maintain a one-meter distance from each other.
  • For all coronavirus updates in China between January 27 and April 30, 2020 as well as our related business advisory content, see here.

Managing the impact on your China business

Since March 28, 2020, China has suspended the entry of most foreign nationals, citing the temporary measure as a response to the rapid spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the world. Due to these new travel restrictions, which so far have presented no expiration date, many foreign nationals who hold a residence permit in China for working purposes are stuck outside of China during this time.

In addition, while most businesses in China have restarted since March – many employers, especially small business owners, remain under big pressure to manage operating costs and maintain cash flow due to the impact of the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the now global spread of COVID-19 has necessitated the world’s biggest ever technology experiments in establishing new work arrangements as businesses seek to effectively utilize their employees while also minimizing physical contact and navigating the temporary international travel bans in place.

As companies continue to grapple with the new HR, legal, technology, operational, and tax concerns due to the unprecedented implications of the pandemic, we address how to manage these uncertainties through our rolling coverage of the latest COVID-19 developments and practical advisory on China Briefing. Some of our latest resources are mentioned below for your easy reference:

Now is an ideal time to conduct a health check on your business and its exposure to the outbreak both in China and across the world. Businesses in China should be prepared to revisit their 2020 budgets and downgrade their sales forecasts as the scale of the outbreak will impact local consumption behavior as well as production and supply. Global businesses should also check on the viability of receiving shipments on time and make contingency plans if in doubt.

Finally, it may not all be bad news. There are always winners and losers during difficult times. Well prepared and managed businesses will survive and ultimately gain market share in the longer term. A Q3 or Q4 bounce back is also entirely feasible – and it makes sense to bear in mind the need to cater for that eventuality as well.

Meanwhile, if your business needs advice on operational, tax, legal, HR, or technology solutions, please contact our China offices at china@dezshira.com.


About Us

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com

We also maintain offices assisting foreign investors in Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, The Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand in addition to our practices in India and Russia and our trade research facilities along the Belt & Road Initiative.