Managing Your China Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Posted by Written by Dezan Shira & Associates Staff in China Reading Time: 149 minutes

(This article was originally published on January 27, 2020 and was last updated on August 31, 2020. For all coronavirus updates in China starting September 1, 2020 as well as our related business advisory content, see here.)

  • For all coronavirus updates in China starting January 1, 2021 as well as our related business advisory content, see here.
  • December 31  China reported 25 new confirmed cases: 16 imported from abroad (6 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Inner Mongolia, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Shaanxi) and 9 local cases (5 cases in Liaoning, 2 case in Beijing, and 2 case in Heilongjiang); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 8 new cases of asymptomatic infection (4 cases imported from abroad); 267 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (216 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 30  China reported 24 new confirmed cases: 17 imported from abroad (7 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Inner Mongolia, 2 cases in Fujian, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Shandong, and 1 case in Guangdong) and 7 local cases (5 cases in Liaoning, 1 case in Beijing, and 1 case in Heilongjiang); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 17 new cases of asymptomatic infection (10 cases imported from abroad); 269 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (219 cases imported from abroad)
  • December 29  China reported 27 new confirmed cases: 12 imported from abroad (4 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Henan, and 1 case in Guangdong) and 15 local cases (8 cases in Liaoning and 7 cases in Beijing); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 8 new cases of asymptomatic infection (6 cases imported from abroad); 262 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (215 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 28  China reported 21 new confirmed cases: 15 imported from abroad (6 cases in Inner Mongolia, 3 cases in Zhejiang, 2 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Guangdong, and 1 case in Sichuan) and 6 local cases in Liaoning; no new deaths; 1 new suspected case imported from abroad in Shanghai. There were 20 new cases of asymptomatic infection (16 cases imported from abroad); 267 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (219 cases imported from abroad).
  • According to reporting from Reuters, “Shunyi district, where all Beijing’s recent coronavirus cases have been reported, has declared a wartime mode and testing for all its 800,000 people. All the cases reported on Saturday were close contacts of previous cases. Two villages in Shunyi have been sealed off as a result. Public venues such as theme parks and churches have scaled back operating hours. Some Catholic churches in Beijing, including Wangfujing’s Catholic Church, have stopped admitting churchgoers and halted group activities, the archdiocese of Beijing said on its website.”
  • December 27 – China reported 22 new confirmed cases, including 10 imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Beijing, 2 cases in Zhejiang, 1 case in Anhui) and 12 local cases (7 cases in Liaoning and 5 cases in Beijing); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There are 15 new cases of asymptomatic infection (11 imported from abroad); 251 cases of asymptomatic infection were still under medical observation (206 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 26 – China reported 20 new confirmed cases, including 12 imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Yunnan, 1 cases in Fujian, 1 case in Hunan, 1 case in Guangdong, 1 case in Sichuan, 1 case in Shaanxi) and 8 local cases (6 cases in Liaoning and 2 cases in Beijing); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There are 19 new asymptomatic infections (17 imported from abroad); 245 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (202 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 25  China reported 14 new confirmed cases: 7 imported from abroad (4 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Liaoning, 1 case in Guangdong, and 1 case in Sichuan) and 7 local cases in Liaoning; no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 17 new cases of asymptomatic infection (15 cases imported from abroad); 236 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (195 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 24  China reported 17 new confirmed cases: 11 imported from abroad (6 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Liaoning, 1 case in Henan, and 1 case in Guangdong) and 6 local cases in Liaoning; no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 19 new cases of asymptomatic infection (14 cases imported from abroad); 229 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (187 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 23 – China reported 15 new confirmed cases: 14 imported from abroad (12 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Zhejiang, and 1 case in Guangdong) and 1 local case in Liaoning; no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 14 new cases of asymptomatic infection (6 cases imported from abroad); 219 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (179 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 22 – China reported 15 new confirmed cases: 13 imported from abroad (6 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Inner Mongolia, and 2 cases in Sichuan) and 2 local cases in Liaoning; no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 17 new cases of asymptomatic infection (11 cases imported from abroad); 214 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (182 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 21 – China reported 23 new confirmed cases: 21 imported from abroad (8 cases in Shanghai, 6 cases in Inner Mongolia, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Fujian, 1 case in Shanxi, and 1 case in Sichuan) and 2 local cases (1 case in Liaoning and 1 case in Heilongjiang); no new deaths; 4 new suspected cases (all imported from abroad in Shanghai). There were 15 new cases of asymptomatic infection (10 cases imported from abroad); 208 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (182 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 20 – China reported 23 new confirmed cases: 22 imported from abroad (11 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Beijing, 2 cases in Inner Mongolia, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Henan, 1 case in Guangdong, and 1 case in Sichuan) and 1 local case (in Liaoning); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 10 new cases of asymptomatic infection (7 cases imported from abroad); 205 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (183 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 19 – China reported 17 new confirmed cases: 14 imported from abroad (8 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Shandong, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Guangdong) and 3 local cases (2 cases in Beijing and 1 case in Liaoning); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case imported from abroad in Shanghai. There were 16 new cases of asymptomatic infection (14 cases imported from abroad); 203 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (182 cases imported from abroad).
  • Beijing and Liaoning experienced small outbreaks of COVID-19 on Friday, December 18. Beijing reported two newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, both of which had been close contacts of an imported confirmed case registered on Monday, December 14. Liaoning reported one new domestically transmitted case on Friday. The confirmed case, living in the port city of Dalian, was a close contact of an asymptomatic carrier diagnosed earlier.
  • December 18 – China reported 12 new confirmed cases, including 11 imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Shanxi, 1 case in Henan, and 1 case in Yunnan), 1 local case in Sichuan; no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 11 new asymptomatic infections (9 imported from abroad); 198 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (178 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 17 – China reported 7 new confirmed cases: all imported from abroad (6 cases in Shanghai and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; 1 new suspected local case in Heilongjiang. There were 6 new cases of asymptomatic infection (4 cases imported from abroad); 198 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (179 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 16 – China reported 12 new confirmed cases: all imported from abroad (3 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Yunnan, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Shandong); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case imported from abroad in Shandong. There were 9 new cases of asymptomatic infection (4 cases imported from abroad); 199 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (181 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 15 – China reported 17 new confirmed cases: 14 imported from abroad (5 cases in Sichuan, 4 cases in Inner Mongolia, 3 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Beijing, and 1 case in Guangdong) and 3 local cases (2 cases in Heilongjiang and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 8 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 196 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (183 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 14 – China reported 16 new confirmed cases, 14 imported (7 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Zhejiang, and 1 case in Guangdong) and 2 local cases in Heilongjiang province. There were no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 9 new asymptomatic cases were reported (all imported); 197 cases of asymptomatic infection are under medical observation (183 imported).
  • December 13 – China reported 24 new confirmed cases, 19 imported (10 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Beijing, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Heilongjiang, 1 case in Jiangsu, 1 case in Shandong, 1 case in Guangdong, and 1 case in Yunnan) and 5 local cases (4 cases in Heilongjiang and 1 case in Sichuan). There were no new deaths; 1 new suspected case imported from abroad recorded in Shanghai. 14 new asymptomatic cases were reported (9 cases imported); 195 cases of asymptomatic infection are under medical observation (181 imported).
  • December 12 – China reported 13 new confirmed cases, all imported from abroad (5 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Jiangsu, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Yunnan). There were no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 17 new asymptomatic cases were reported (15 cases imported); 196 cases of asymptomatic infection are under medical observation (185 imported).
  • Northeast China’s Heilongjiang is the next province to experience an outbreak after Sichuan. On December 11, 2020, Heilongjiang reported two domestically transmitted cases in Dongning City and Suifenghe City. One of the patients is a 40-year-old man who works on disinfection facilities at the customs of Dongning City. The other patient is a 39-year-old man who had been unloading imports in a trade zone from November 30 to December 4.
  • December 11 China reported 15 new confirmed cases: 9 imported from abroad (5 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, and 1 case in Yunnan) and 6 local cases (4 cases in Sichuan and 2 cases in Heilongjiang); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 7 new cases of asymptomatic infection (6 cases imported from abroad); 200 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (191 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 10 – China reported 12 new confirmed cases: 11 imported from abroad (9 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Guangdong) and 1 local case in Inner Mongolia; no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases (imported from abroad in Shanghai). There were 5 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported cases from abroad); 201 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (193 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 9 – China reported 15 new confirmed cases: 11 imported from abroad (6 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Jiangsu, 1 case in Guangxi, and 1 case in Sichuan) and 4 local cases (all in Sichuan, the 69 years old case we posted yesterday and her husband); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases (imported from abroad in Shanghai). There was 1 new case of asymptomatic infection (no imported cases from abroad); 210 cases of asymptomatic infection are under medical observation (202 cases imported from abroad).
  • On December 7, at night, the husband of the 69-years-old confirmed case in Chengdu (see December 7 update) was confirmed positive, and the wife was diagnosed as being infected with a serious strain of COVID-19. From 0:00 to 6:00 of December 8, 3 other local cases were newly confirmed – one is a close contact of the couple confirmed positive on December 7 and 2 other persons who confirmed positive live in the same residential area. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing.
  • December 8 China reported 12 new confirmed cases: 10 imported from abroad (4 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, and 3 cases in Sichuan) and 2 local cases (all in Sichuan); no new deaths; 1 new suspected cases (imported from abroad in Shanghai). There are 5 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported); 219 cases of asymptomatic infection are under medical observation (212 cases imported from abroad).
  • Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, has reported a domestically transmitted case in its Pidu District. The patient, 69 years old, is unemployed. On December 6, she went to the People’s Hospital of Pidu District for treatment due to symptoms of cough and phlegm and was diagnosed as a confirmed case (common type) based on clinical and imaging findings and laboratory nucleic acid test results, and was transferred to Chengdu Public Health Clinical Medical Center Hospital for isolation and treatment. At present, the patient’s close contacts have been traced, quarantined, and have done nucleic acid testing. The People’s Hospital of Pidu District, the patient’s residence, and other areas have been quarantined.
  • December 7 China reported 15 new confirmed cases: 12 imported from abroad (7 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Yunnan) and 3 local cases (all in Inner Mongolia); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases (all imported from abroad in Shanghai). There were 6 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 231 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (224 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 6 – China reported 18 new confirmed cases: 17 imported from abroad (6 cases in Shanghai, 6 cases in Fujian, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Sichuan, 1 case in Yunnan, and 1 case in Shaanxi) and 1 local case (in Tianjin); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases (all imported from abroad in Shanghai). There were 2 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 234 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (227 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 5 – China reported 17 new confirmed cases: 15 imported from abroad (3 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Henan, 3 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Shanxi, and 1 case in Fujian) and 2 local cases (all in Inner Mongolia); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 12 new cases of asymptomatic infection (11 cases imported from abroad); 249 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (242 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 4 – China reported 17 new confirmed cases: 15 imported from abroad (9 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Fujian, 2 cases in Henan, 1 case in Shandong, and 1 case in Guangdong), and 2 local cases (all in Inner Mongolia); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case (imported from abroad in Shanghai). There were 12 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 249 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (243 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 3 China reported 16 new confirmed cases, all imported from abroad (8 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Shandong, 1 case in Hubei, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases (all imported cases in Shanghai). There were 6 new cases of asymptomatic infection (5 cases imported from abroad); 254 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (248 cases imported from abroad).
  • Joint ventures (JVs) present foreign investors in China with a unique blend of capital, know-how, and assets, and enables them to gain a foothold in a new market. However, JVs also raise concerns regarding legal control and oversight of financial and operational activities. In 2020, these concerns were compounded by travel restrictions due to the pandemic, which compromised the ability of many foreign investors to directly supervise their joint venture in China. China Briefing presents two actual joint venture case studies of fraudulent activity detected at, both, the shareholder and management levels, and discusses some of the ways to mitigate exposure to these risks. Read it here: Managing Risks Within Joint Ventures in China.
  • December 2 – China reported 9 new confirmed cases: 7 imported from abroad (3 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Shanghai, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Henan, and 1 case in Shaanxi) and 2 local cases (all in Inner Mongolia); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case (imported from abroad in Shanghai). There were 3 new cases of asymptomatic infection (1 imported from abroad); 259 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (254 cases imported from abroad).
  • December 1 China reported 12 new confirmed cases: 8 imported from abroad (2 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Fujian, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Beijing, and 1 case in Shaanxi) and 4 local cases (all in Inner Mongolia); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 5 new cases of asymptomatic infection (4 imported from abroad); 264 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (259 cases imported from abroad).
  • The border city of Manzhouli (China’s largest land port) in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has overall confirmed 14 local cases, 4 asymptomatic cases, and 2 suspected cases. Their 940 close contacts have been placed under medical observation. The autonomous region has also reported 4 imported cases. Epidemiological surveys and source tracing work are underway regarding the cases that have tested positive. Manzhouli had launched its first round of city-wide nucleic acid testing on November 22, and the second round of tests on Friday.
  • November 30 China reported 18 new confirmed cases,15 imported from abroad (5 cases in Shanghai, 5 cases in Shandong, 3 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Shanxi, and 1 case in Guangdong), and 3 local cases (all in Inner Mongolia); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 17 new cases of asymptomatic infection (14 imported from abroad); 281 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (274 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 29 China reported 11 new confirmed cases, all imported from abroad (4 cases in Fujian, 3 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Sichuan, 1 case in Yunnan, 1 case in Shaanxi, and 1 case in Gansu); no new deaths; 4 new suspected cases (all imported cases in Shanghai). There were 10 new cases of asymptomatic infection (9 imported from abroad); 279 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (274 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 28 – China reported 6 new confirmed cases, all imported from abroad (2 cases in Fujian, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Sichuan, and 1 case in Yunnan); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 4 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 288 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (284 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 27 – China reported 5 new confirmed cases, all imported from abroad (3 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Shaanxi). There were 8 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 308 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (304 cases imported from abroad).
  • Inner Mongolia reported 9 domestically transmitted cases on November 26, bringing the total count for the province’s recent outbreak to 11, since the two local confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported on November 21. The 9 confirmed cases all live in Manzhouli City, same as the two initial cases in a couple. After identifying the two initial cases, Manzhouli City has tested all its 203,326 residents, and all 443 close contacts have been traced and quarantined for observation. A strict lockdown has been enforced in the city as well. Further epidemiological investigations are still underway. Some official sources said that the two initial cases’ virus was “highly similar” to a strain circulating in Russia.
  • November 26 – China reported 21 new confirmed cases: 12 imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Jiangsu, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Sichuan) and 9 local cases (all in Inner Mongolia); no new deaths; 3 new suspected cases (2 imported cases in Shanghai and 1 local case in Inner Mongolia). There were 5 new cases of asymptomatic infection (4 imported from abroad); 321 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (317 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 25 – China reported 5 imported cases (2 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Guangdong, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; 1 new local suspected case in Inner Mongolia. There were 6 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 335 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (330 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 24 – China reported 22 new confirmed cases: 20 imported cases (4 cases in Fujian, 4 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Jiangsu, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Henan, and 1 case in Inner Mongolia) and 2 local cases (1 in Tianjin and 1 in Shanghai); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case imported from abroad in Shanghai. There were 8 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 348 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (345 cases imported from abroad).
  • Tianjin reported 1 domestically transmitted case on November 23. The patient was previously diagnosed as asymptomatic, but the CT scan showed the disease has progressed in the lung.
  • Shanghai reported 1 domestically transmitted case on November 23. The new confirmed case is a FedEx (China) employee, who also works at the cargo terminal at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. In addition, according to the investigation result released by the government, the November 9 case in Shanghai and the November 10 case in Anhui can be connected to a container that arrived on a flight from North America. Both entered and cleaned the container without wearing a mask. Still, there is no established link between the first two cases and the most recent ones.
  • With winter approaching, sporadic outbreaks of COVID-19 are starting to occur more frequently. Shanghai reported two locally transmitted cases on November 20 in a married couple in the city’s Pudong New Area. The husband, 39-years-old, works as an airport freight security checker at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, and the wife, 34-years-old, works as a nurse at Shanghai Pudong Hospital. On November 21, Shanghai reported another new conformed local case. The man, 29-years-old, is the colleague of the November 20 confirmed case, who works at the cargo terminal at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. On November 22, Shanghai reported two locally transmitted cases again. One of the confirmed cases is the colleague of the November 20 confirmed case, who works at the cargo terminal at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Another confirmed case is the wife of the November 21 confirmed cases. The recent confirmed cases are unrelated to the previous local case confirmed on November 9, but are related to logistics at the airport. The risk of virus being imported through international logistics is of great concern to health authorities. Shanghai Pudong International Airport started night testing all staff from November 22. Tianjin reported another domestically transmitted COVID-19 case on November 21 besides the four confirmed cases from the Kanhaixuan residential community in Tianjin. The new confirmed case is a close contact of the personnel exposed to a cold storage facility in Dongli District. Inner Mongolia reported two new domestically confirmed cases on November 21, both of whom live in Manzhouli City. An epidemiological investigation has been launched.
  • November 23 – China reported 11 new confirmed cases: 9 imported cases (4 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Shanghai, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Shaanxi), and 2 local cases (in Shanghai); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 10 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 357 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (353 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 22 – China reported 17 new confirmed cases: 14 imported cases (4 cases in Fujian, 3 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Guangxi, 1 case in Sichuan) and 3 local cases (2 cases in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Shanghai); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 11 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 385 cases of asymptomatic infection were still under medical observation (361 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 21 – China reported 16 new confirmed cases: 9 imported cases (all in Shanghai) and 7 domestically transmitted cases (5 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Shanghai); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 18 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 378 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (374 cases imported from abroad).
  • Tianjin reported four domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases on November 20. The four confirmed cases are from the same residential community/neighborhoods (Kanhaixuan Community) near the Dongjiang Port Area and had tested positive the night of November 19. Previously on November 10, the currently four confirmed cases had tested negative after Tianjin’s third asymptomatic case (living in the same residential community/neighborhoods) had tested positive in a nucleic acid test. The said community has been listed as a high-risk area as of this morning (November 20). All close contacts are being quarantined and tested. All areas where the patients and their close contacts live have been put under control.
  • November 20 China reported 17 imported cases (6 cases in Fujian, 4 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Shaanxi, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; 1 new suspected cases in Tianjin. There were 14 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 373 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (367 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 19 China reported 12 imported cases (3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Fujian, 2 cases in Guangxi, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Shanghai, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Guangdong, and 1 case in Chongqing); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 10 new asymptomatic infections (9 imported from abroad); 419 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (379 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 18 – China reported 8 imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Shanxi, 1 case in Liaoning, and 1 case in Guangdong) and 1 local case (in Tianjin); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 5 new cases of asymptomatic infection (4 imported from abroad); 456 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (387 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 17 – China reported 15 new confirmed cases – all imported from abroad (6 cases in Sichuan, 4 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Shandong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 12 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 512 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (406 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 16 – China reported 8 new confirmed cases – all imported from abroad (3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Shanxi, 1 case in Jiangsu, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). There were 14 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 548 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (416 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 15 – China reported 13 new confirmed cases – all imported from abroad (3 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Yunnan, 2 cases in Tianjin, 2 case in Shaanxi, 1 case in shanghai, 1 case in Henan, 1 case in Hubei); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). There were 6 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 613 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (423 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 14 – China reported 18 new confirmed cases – all imported from abroad (7 cases in Guangdong, 5 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Liaoning, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 10 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 648 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (434 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 13 – China reported 8 new confirmed cases – all imported from abroad (3 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Henan, 1 case in Sichuan, 1 case in Shaanxi, and 1 case in Gansu); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 15 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 697 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (450 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 12 – China reported 14 imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Guangdong) and 1 local case (in Tianjin); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad in Shanghai. There were 6 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 728 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (457 cases imported from abroad).
  • Anhui province reported one domestically transmitted COVID-19 case on November 10. The confirmed case is a 50-year old man who was found to be a close contact of the confirmed case reported in Shanghai on November 9. He worked as a porter at the Pudong International Airport and returned to Fuyang, Anhui province on November 5. A total of 34 people in close contact with the patient have been established, 17 of whom have been sampled for nucleic acid test. Four residential communities where the patient and his close contact live have been disinfected.
  • November 11 – China reported 16 imported cases (6 cases in Tianjin, 5 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Liaoning, 1 case in Jiangsu, 1 case in Shaanxi) and 1 local case (in Anhui); no new deaths; no new suspected case. There were 15 new cases of asymptomatic infection (13 imported from abroad); 776 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (480 cases imported from abroad).
  • In light of recent developments, China Briefing has updated the article: Exporting Meat Products to China During COVID-19: What You Need to Know. With more cases of COVID-19 linked to frozen food emerging in China, the State Council released the Circular on the Work Plan of Preventive Comprehensive Disinfection of Imported Cold Chain Foods on November 8, 2020, requiring that the imported cold chain food undergo thorough preventive disinfection before coming into contact with domestic personnel for the first time.
  • Shanghai reported one domestically transmitted COVID-19 case on November 9. The confirmed case is a 51-year old man who was engaged in handling work at the freight terminal of Pudong Airport starting April 8, 2020 and has not left Shanghai since. He has no travel history in a medium-high risk area within 14 days before onset of illness, no contact history with a novel coronavirus infected patient, and no medical treatment history in other medical institutions in the past three months. He was found to have multiple ground glass patterns in both lungs when he went to the local fever clinic on November 8 for fever, nasal congestion, and weakness. He was isolated immediately according to standard protocols and tested positive for the virus on November 9. A total of 26 people in close contact with the patient in Shanghai have been tracked and put under isolated observation. All places where the patient had visited have been disinfected. The nucleic acid test results of 23 close contacts were negative, among which four family members were negative, 16 colleagues were negative, and three market personnel were negative. The other three market personnel are still waiting for test results. The patient himself has not been exposed to frozen food recently, and the work he was engaged in and his movements tracked before diagnosis are not related to the third Expo. Yingqian Village, Zhuqiao Town, and Pudong New Area, where the patient lives, is listed as a medium-risk area, while the risk level of other regions in Shanghai remain unchanged.
  • November 10 – China reported 21 imported cases (6 cases in Guangdong, 4 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Fujian, 3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Beijing, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Shaanxi) and 1 local case (in Shanghai); no new deaths; no new suspected case. There were 25 new cases of asymptomatic infection (24 imported from abroad); 786 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (486 cases imported from abroad).
  • Local authorities in North China’s Tianjin municipality have announced the port city is entering ‘wartime’ mode after a cold storage staff tested positive for the coronavirus. State media CGTN reports: “The 38-year-old man had no contact history with other confirmed or suspected cases but was exposed to imported frozen food during his work. Doctors diagnosed him as a mild case.” On Friday, Tianjin’s municipal authorities were told by Dezhou city officials in Shandong province that samples of frozen food packaging imported through the port (the outer packaging of a batch of German pork) had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Consequently, Tianjin began “nucleic acid screening of the related frozen food, cold storage area, transport vehicles and all the close contacts.” By Sunday, only a worker and a door handle at a cold storage area tested positive. Reuters also reported that Taiyuan city in China’s northern Shanxi province said on Saturday said that frozen belt fish imported into Tianjin from India had tested positive for the virus. As per the latest rules, Chinese customs will suspend imports from companies for a week if frozen food products test positive, and for a month if the supplier’s products test positive for a third time or more.
  • November 9 – China reported 32 imported cases (13 cases in Shanghai, 6 cases in Shaanxi, 4 cases in Guangdong, 4 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Shanxi, 1 in Liaoning, and 1 in Jiangsu) and 1 local case (in Tianjin); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). There were 9 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 804 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (497 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 8 China reported 28 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (9 cases in Shaanxi, 7 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Hubei, 2 cases in Zhejiang, 2 cases in Guangdong, and 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Shanxi, and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths; 4 new suspected cases, all imported cases (all in Shanghai). There were 36 new asymptomatic infections (34 imported from abroad); 824 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (508 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 7 – China reported 33 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (11 cases in Shanghai, 9 cases in Fujian, 4 cases in Sichuan, 4 cases in Shaanxi, 3 cases in Inner Mongolia, and 2 cases in Guangdong ); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 27 new asymptomatic infections (25 imported from abroad); 823 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (495 cases imported from abroad).
  • November 6 – China reported 36 new confirmed cases, including 30 imported cases (15 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Inner Mongolia, 2 cases in Fujian, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Shanxi, 1 case in Liaoning, 1 case in Zhejiang, and 1 case in Yunnan) and 6 local cases (all in Xinjiang); no new deaths; 23 new suspected cases, all imported cases (all in Shanghai). There were 33 new asymptomatic infections (18 imported from abroad); 832 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (492 cases imported from abroad).
  • China is temporarily suspending the entry of nationals from the UK, Belgium, France, Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines, including visa or residence permit holders, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made separately by the Chinese diplomatic missions in the four countries on Thursday. China is also temporarily suspending the entry of foreign nationals living in India, including holders of valid Chinese visas or residence permits. China has also suspended all flights from India. The Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said: “Foreigners holding Chinese diplomatic, service, courtesy and C visas are not affected. Foreigners with emergency or humanitarian needs to visit China, can submit visa application to the Chinese Embassy/ Consulates in India. The entry into China with visas issued after November 3rd, 2020 is not affected…The Chinese Embassy/Consulates in India will not stamp the Health Declaration Forms for the holders of the above-mentioned categories of visa or residence permits.”
  • November 5 – China reported 28 new confirmed cases, including 20 imported cases (8 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Sichuan, 3 cases in Shaanxi, 2 cases in Henan, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, and 1 case in Fujian) and 8 local cases (all in Xinjiang); no new deaths; 3 new suspected cases, all imported cases (2 in Shanghai, 1 in Inner Mongolia). There were 24 new asymptomatic infections (22 imported from abroad); 825 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (485 imported from abroad).
  • November 4 – China reported 17 new confirmed cases, including 15 imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Inner Mongolia, 2 cases in Fujian, and 1 case in Shaanxi) and 2 local cases (both in Xinjiang); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). There were 128 new asymptomatic infections (12 imported from abroad); 828 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (482 imported from abroad).
  • State paper, Global Times, reports that Kashi in Xinjiang began its third round of mass nucleic acid testing ‘to track infections in community’, on Monday, after Xinjiang reported 61 asymptomatic carriers on Saturday alone. The new testing drive, includes repeated nucleic acid testing, and comes after the second round of testing was completed in key villages. On Saturday, Gu Yingsu, deputy head of the local health commission in Xinjiang, said at a press conference that 15 people from Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture had tested negative in the first-round nucleic acid test but tested positive in the second-round test. The new rise in infections has sparked public concern over whether the initial cluster outbreak (linked to a local clothing factory) had spread to the wider region. Late last month, Kashi had completed prefecture-wide testing of 4.7 million residents in four days by October 27. “The testing campaign discovered no other infections beyond the clustered epidemic related to the factory in Shufu county. Viral gene sequencing also ruled out the possible link between Kashi’s outbreak and a previous one in Urumqi in July.” Local health experts are now stressing the need for epidemiological investigations, beyond the test and trace drive.
  • November 3 – China reported 49 new confirmed cases, including 44 imported cases (9 cases in Shanghai, 8 cases in Guangdong, 8 cases in Sichuan, 4 cases in Inner Mongolia, 4 cases in Fujian, 4  cases in Hubei, 2 cases in Beijing, 2 cases in Tianjin, 1 case in Jiangsu, 1 case in Zhejiang, and 1 case in Shandong) and 5 local cases (all in Xinjiang); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, all imported from abroad Cases (all in Inner Mongolia). There are 61 new asymptomatic infections (48 imported from abroad); 725 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (493 imported from abroad).
  • November 2 – China reported 24 newly confirmed cases, including 21 imported cases (6 cases in Shanghai, 5 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Shanxi, 3 cases in Gansu, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 cases in Tianjin, and 1 case in Jiangsu) and 3 local cases (all in Xinjiang); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). There are 30 new asymptomatic infections (24 imported from abroad); 684 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (460 imported from abroad).
  • November 1 – China reported 24 new confirmed cases, including 21 imported cases (7 cases in Gansu, 5 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Inner Mongolia, 3 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Fujian, 1 cases in Sichuan, and 1 case in Shaanxi) and 3 local cases (all in Xinjiang); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 69 new asymptomatic infections (8 imported from abroad); 666 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (446 imported from abroad).
  • October 31 – China reported 33 new confirmed cases, including 27 imported cases (8 cases in Shanghai, 5 cases in Tianjin, 4 cases in Sichuan, 3 cases in Zhejiang, 3 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Hebei, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Hunan, and 1 case in Yunnan) and 6 local cases (all in Xinjiang); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, all imported cases (all in Shanghai). There were 38 new asymptomatic infections (23 imported from abroad); 611 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (449 imported from abroad).
  • October 30 – China reported 25 new confirmed cases, including 24 imported cases (13 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Fujian, 2 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Sichuan, and 1 case in Yunnan) and 1 local case (in Shandong); no new deaths; 6 new suspected cases, all imported cases (all in Shanghai). 53 new cases of asymptomatic infections (39 imported from abroad) were reported; 592 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (439 cases imported from abroad).
  • October 29 China reported 47 new confirmed cases, including 24 imported cases (8 cases in Inner Mongolia, 6 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Jiangsu, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Shaanxi) and 23 local cases (all in Xinjiang); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. The National Health Commission also reported 16 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 543 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (404 imported from abroad).
  • Xinjiang also reported another 19 asymptomatic infections (which China does not recognize as confirmed COVID-19 cases) that accounted for half the new asymptomatic cases reported. Kashgar health authorities completed their COVID-19 testing drive for the 4.75 million inhabitants in the area by Tuesday afternoon (October 27) and a total of 183 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus. All the cases were reported in Shufu County of south Xinjiang’s Kashgar Prefecture (as of Tuesday), according to the state-run paper, China Daily.
  • Of the new confirmed cases, 22 local cases were previously reported as asymptomatic patients in the city of Kashgar in Xinjiang. The cases are linked to a garment factory, though it is still not clear how the infections started.
  • October 28 China reported 42 new confirmed cases, including 20 imported cases (7 cases in Shanghai, 6 cases in Shaanxi, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Hebei, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Henan, and 1 case in Sichuan) and 22 local cases (all in Xinjiang); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. This is the highest daily jump in new infections in more than two months due to a rise in cases in the northwestern Xinjiang region, China’s health authority said on Wednesday. There were 38 new asymptomatic infections (19 imported from abroad); 570 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (408 imported from abroad).
  • Broadcaster CGTN reports that 26 new coronavirus cases were detected between Sunday and Monday in Kashgar (all came into close contact with asymptomatic people detected earlier), bringing the total of asymptomatic patients in the region to 164. On Sunday, Xinjiang’s local disease control department had tested a total of 831 workers in the textile factory where a 17-year old factory worker had tested positive for COVID-19 and all have tested negative. “The local government has also detected 16 close contacts of the 17-year-old female that first tested positive for COVID-19 and 406 others who are close to the 16. Her parents and brother tested negative, even though all 137 new cases were linked to the factory where her parents worked. Wang Guiqiang, director of the infectious diseases department at Peking University First Hospital, told reporters that it’s highly possible that the parents brought back the virus from the factory and then passed it on to their daughter. However, it still can’t be ruled out right now that it’s not the young woman who might have passed the virus on to her parents.”
  • October 27 – China reported 16 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Shaanxi, 2 cases in Hebei, 2 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Heilongjiang, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Shandong, and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 50 new asymptomatic infections (24 imported from abroad) were reported; 570 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (405 imported from abroad).
  • Authorities in Kashgar, Xinjiang launched a testing program on Saturday night, which will cover the region’s 4.75 million people. As of Sunday afternoon, it was reported that more than 2.84 million people had been tested. City government officials have stated that the rest of the population will be tested by Tuesday, October 27. Kashgar is an ancient silk road city and shares borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Reuters reports that the Kashgar government announced Sunday that it would close all schools except universities through to Friday but supermarkets and shopping malls would remain open. Four towns in the Kashgar region have been identified as ‘high-risk’ areas and stringent travel and movement restrictions are expected.
  • Media outlets are reporting that China has detected 138 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases in Kashgar in the north-western region of Xinjiang on Sunday, after one person (a 17-year old garment factory worker) tested positive for the virus on Saturday. China does not classify asymptomatic cases as ‘confirmed cases’ and so far, no cases of people with symptoms have been reported. These are the first new local cases in 10 days in mainland China (since the Qingdao outbreak in Shandong province). Xinjiang was the site of another local COVID cluster in August that had resulted in a complete lockdown of the capital Urumqi; however, no new cases were reported in the region since August 15.
  • October 26 – China reported 20 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (11 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Inner Mongolia, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Hebei, 1 case in Shanxi, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Guangdong, and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). The country reported 161 new asymptomatic infections (24 imported from abroad); 539 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (400 imported from abroad).
  • October 25 – China reported 15 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Liaoning, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Shanxi, 1 case in Tianjin, and 1 case in Shaanxi) ); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 19 new asymptomatic infections (18 imported from abroad) were reported; 405 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (403 imported overseas).
  • October 24 – China reported 28 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (9 cases in Shanghai, 9 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Tianjin, 3 cases in Shaanxi, 2 cases in Beijing, and 2 cases in Fujian); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 27 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad); 404 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (403 imported from abroad).
  • October 23 – China reported 18 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (9 cases in Shanghai, 7 cases in Fujian, and 2 cases in Chongqing); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, all imported cases (all in Shanghai). There were 11 new asymptomatic infections (all imported); 403 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (402 imported from abroad).
  • October 22 – China reported 14 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (8 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Sichuan, and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, all imported from abroad (both in Shanghai). There were 25 new cases of asymptomatic infection (all imported from abroad); 406 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (405 imported from abroad)
  • October 21 – China reported 11 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Henan, and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. There were 15 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) reported in the country; 403 cases of asymptomatic infection are under medical observation (402 cases imported from abroad).
  • October 20 China reported 19 new confirmed cases, all of which are imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 5 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Tianjin, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Jiangsu, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Chongqing). There are 3 new suspected case in Shanghai imported from abroad. 24 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported in the country; 403 cases of asymptomatic infections are still under medical observation (402 imported from abroad).
  • October 19 – China reported 13 new confirmed cases, all of which are imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Shanxi). There is no new suspected case. 33 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported in the country; 401 cases of asymptomatic infections are still under medical observation (400 imported from abroad).
  • October 18 – China reported 13 new confirmed cases, all of which are imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Sichuan). There is one new suspected case in Shanghai imported from abroad. 34 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported in the country; 389 cases of asymptomatic infections are still under medical observation (388 imported from abroad).
  • October 17 – China reported 13 new confirmed cases, all of which are imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Sichuan, 1 case in Shaanxi). There is one new suspected case in Shanghai imported from abroad. 11 new asymptomatic infections (10 of which imported from abroad) were reported in the country; 374 cases of asymptomatic infections are still under medical observation (372 imported from abroad).
  • October 16 China reported 24 new confirmed cases, all of which are imported cases (11 cases in Shanghai, 5 cases in Inner Mongolia, 2 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Jiangsu, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Fujian, 1 case in Chongqing). There is one new suspected case in Shanghai imported from abroad. 10 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported in the country; 376 cases of asymptomatic infections are still under medical observation (375 imported from abroad). The BBC reports: “A city in eastern China has started offering a coronavirus vaccine to the general public – although it has not yet completed clinical trials. “
  • October 15 – China reported 11 new confirmed cases, including 10 imported cases (4 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Hebei) and 1 local case (in Shandong where the person was reported as an asymptomatic infected case in Qingdao on September 24). 23 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported in the country; 385 cases of asymptomatic infections are still under medical observation (394 imported from abroad). The Jiaxing local government announced that Jiaxing –  the city in Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai is offering a vaccine under development by Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech. (The original announcement was made on the official WeChat account on October 15).
  • October 14 China reported 20 new confirmed cases, including 14 imported cases (6 cases in Guangdong, 5 cases in Shanghai, and 3 cases in Shaanxi). There are 6 new local cases (all in Shandong); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, all imported from abroad (all in Shanghai). 18 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported in the country; 381 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (379 imported from abroad).
  • October 13 – China reported 13 new confirmed cases, including 7 imported cases (3 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, and 1 case in Sichuan) and 6 local cases (all in Shandong) (see updates from previous day); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 17 new cases of asymptomatic infections (12 imported from abroad) were reported; 386 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (378 imported from abroad).
  • The South China Morning Post reports: “Qingdao Chest Hospital goes into lockdown after ex-patient, former worker, and her husband all test positive. The patient was treated for tuberculosis at the hospital last month; the second person infected worked at the hospital from July to September, and the third, is her husband.” The Health Times reported on Sunday that the three individuals had tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday and Saturday, and were immediately put under medical quarantine.
  • As reported by Reuters, the city of Qingdao in China’s eastern province of Shandong will test its entire population of more than 9 million for COVID-19 over a five-day period after new cases have been linked to a hospital treating imported infections. The city reported six new COVID-19 cases and six asymptomatic cases as of late October 11; most of the cases were linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital. Qingdao has locked down Qingdao Chest Hospital as well as the emergency department of its central hospital. While the National Health Commission (NHC) said mainland China had 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases as on October 11, it did not include any confirmed infections in Qingdao – not immediately clear why. (Meanwhile, Qingdao’s health commission reported somewhat ambiguously that as of 24:00 on October 11, there were 3 new cases of asymptomatic COVID-19 infections. 3 new cases of asymptomatic COVID-19 infections imported from abroad were discharged from hospital October 11.)
  • October 12 – China reported 21 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 4 cases in Liaoning, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Hebei, 2 cases in Shanxi, 1 case in Beijing, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Inner Mongolia, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 32 new asymptomatic infections (29 imported from abroad) were reported; 395 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (390 imported from abroad). The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China stands at 85,578, while the death toll is unchanged at 4,634.
  • October 11 – China reported 21 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (10 cases in Shanghai, 6 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Liaoning, and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths; 5 new suspected cases, all imported cases (4 in Shanghai, 1 in Inner Mongolia). 23 new asymptomatic infections (all imported) were reported; 381 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (379 imported from abroad).
  • October 10 – China reported 15 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (5 cases in Sichuan, 3 cases in Shaanxi, 2 cases in Tianjin, 2 cases in Liaoning, 2 cases in Shanghai, and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 39 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 380 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (378 cases imported from abroad).
  • October 9 – China reported 21 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (10 cases in Shaanxi, 6 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, and 2 cases in Liaoning); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 15 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 357 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (355 cases imported from abroad).
  • October 8 – China reported 11 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Sichuan, 1 case in Zhejiang, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 8 new asymptomatic infections (all imported) were reported; 366 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (364 imported from abroad).
  • October 7 – China reported 7 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Shanxi, and 1 case in Shanghai); there were no new deaths; there are no new suspected cases. There were 24 new asymptomatic infections (all imported) reported; 376 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (374 imported from abroad).
  • October 6 – China reported 12 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (5 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Tianjin, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 31 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 375 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (373 imported from abroad).
  • October 5 – China reported 20 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (10 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Inner Mongolia, 2 cases in Fujian, 1 case in Shanxi, 1 case in Jiangsu, and 1 case in Guangdong); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 27 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 369 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (367 cases imported from abroad).
  • October 4 – China reported 16 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (6 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Yunnan, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Shanghai, and 1 case in Guangxi); no new deaths; 3 new suspected cases, all imported cases (all in Shanghai). 26 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 366 cases of asymptomatic infection were still under medical observation (364 imported from abroad).
  • October 3 – China reported 10 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Guangdong, 2 cases in Sichuan, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 12 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 364 cases of asymptomatic infection were still under medical observation (362 imported overseas).
  • October 2 – China reported 10 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Fujian, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Shanghai, 1 case in Chongqing, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 33 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were recorded; 377 cases of asymptomatic infection were still under medical observation (375 imported overseas).
  • According to reporting by SCMP, 600 million trips are expected to be made across the country over the eight-day break by road and public transport. An extended breakdown of travel statistics has been reported in the state newspaper, the Global Times, which said earlier this week that China’s state railways “expect to handle 108 million passenger trips during the 11-day travel peak of the National Day holidays, an average of 9.82 million trips per day. The railway operator said that Thursday, China’s National Day, will see the peak of passenger flow, with an estimated amount of 13 million trips – setting a new high in the daily average passenger flow on the railways since the outbreak of COVID-19 began. China’s domestic flights are also expected to push past pre-COVID levels – more than 164,700 domestic flights were scheduled during the period, an increase of more than 11 percent, compared with the same time in 2019 when approximately 148,000 flights flew.”
  • China’s Golden Week Holiday / National Holiday (overlapping this year with the Mid-Autumn Festival) begins today. The Golden Week will be the first major holiday since the country brought the COVID-19 outbreak under control. As per the National Health Commission’s Wednesday update, China had reported no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 44 days. For economists, Chinese consumer behavior during this period will be key to determining if the pent up demand will provide a sufficient consumption boost for the national economy that has lagged in the wake of job insecurity and reduced disposable incomes due to the impact of the pandemic (learn more about why this focus on surging domestic demand is important for Chinese policymakers here). Since the Golden Week is not a cultural construct and began as a way to stimulate domestic spending after the Asian Financial Crisis, Chinese consumers have been relatively free to choose how they wish to spend this week-long holiday, unlike China’s other major festival break during the Lunar New Year. Given the extended period of isolation due to the pandemic control measures implemented by Chinese health authorities, this year’s celebration may see some changes in consumption. Inbound travel is also expected to get a boost due to the restrictions placed on international travel by most countries still fighting the pandemic; this will also impact international travel destinations, including Hong Kong, as China is the world’s largest outbound-travel source market.
  • October 1 – China reported 11 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (7 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Sichuan, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; 3 new suspected cases, all imported cases (all in Shanghai). 10 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 363 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (361 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 30 – China reported 19 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (8 cases in Guangdong, 5 cases in Fujian, 2 cases in Shanghai, 2 cases in Shaanxi, 1 case in Henan, and 1 case in Sichuan); no new deaths; 2 new suspected cases, all imported cases (all in Shanghai). 22 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 375 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (373 imported from abroad).
  • September 29 – China reported 12 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (5 cases in Shanghai, 3 cases in Sichuan, 3 cases in Shaanxi, and 1 case in Fujian); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 26 new asymptomatic infections (all imported) were reported; 376 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (374 imported from abroad).
  • September 28 – China reported 21 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (10 cases in Shanghai, 5 cases in Guangdong, 3 cases in Inner Mongolia, 2 cases in Fujian, and 1 case in Shanxi); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 14 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 367 cases of asymptomatic infection were under medical observation (365 cases imported from abroad).
  • September 27 – China reported 14 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (4 cases in Liaoning, 4 cases in Fujian, 3 cases in Sichuan, 2 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Shanghai); no new deaths; no new suspected cases. 26 new asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were recorded; 391 cases of asymptomatic infection are still under medical observation (389 imported from abroad).
  • September 26 – China reported 15 new confirmed cases, all of which were imported cases (9 cases in Sichuan, 3 cases in Guangdong, 1 case in Tianjin, 1 case in Fujian, and 1 case in Shaanxi); no new deaths; 1 new suspected case, imported from abroad (in Shanghai). 30 new cases of asymptomatic infections (all imported from abroad) were reported; 400 cases of asymptomatic infections were under medical observation (398 cases imported from abroad).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • For all coronavirus updates in China and Hong Kong starting May 1, 2020 as well as related business advisory content, follow our coverage here Managing Your China Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak: Ongoing Updates.
  • Our latest business coverage on the impact of COVID-19 on China Briefing addresses some common concerns regarding expatriate work and residence permits in China due to the country’s sudden travel restrictions. Read it here: China’s COVID-19 Travel Ban: How to Handle Your Foreign Employee’s Work and Residence Permit.
  • China has announced that it will reopen the Forbidden City on May 1, Friday – 3 months after it was shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. The move is the clearest signal that Beijing believes it has brought the disease under control. The Palace Museum, which manages the Forbidden City, has imposed a daily limit of 5,000 visitors. Prior to the outbreak, this limit was 80,000.
    Visitors will need to wear masks, show their health codes, accept temperature checks, and maintain a one-meter distance from each other. The popular tourist destination saw 2,500 tickets booked within a half hour of the announcement – according to the website that manages its ticketing. This is not surprising as China begins a five-day public holiday, starting tomorrow, May 1.
  • April 30 – China reported 4 newly confirmed cases, all of which were imported from abroad; no new deaths.
  • The annual general assembly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s parliament, will begin May 22. Beijing announced the decision by the NPC’s Standing Committee on Wednesday, as reported by the state news agency Xinhua. Around 3,000 lawmakers are expected to gather. Meanwhile, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political consultative body, will start its annual session on May 21.
    The decision is a major show of confidence that China has the outbreak under control and all eyes will be on how Beijing will manage the Two Sessions, including impact on travel and hosting of large numbers of people from across the country.
  • April 29 – China reported 22 newly diagnosed cases, of which 21 were imported cases and 1 was a local case (1 case in Guangdong). There were also 26 new cases of asymptomatic infections. Imported cases involving travelers from abroad and managing asymptomatic infections appear to be persistent concerns for China, whose economic reopening is being closely observed by other countries also fighting the outbreak and planning for resumption of work / end to lockdowns.
  • China Briefing’s coverage of the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and solutions to adapt to changes in the economy continues.
    We provide the most updated table detailing China’s provincial quarantine policies for inbound travelers (as of April 28, 2020) here: China’s Travel Restrictions due to COVID-19: An Explainer.
    In the face of the ongoing pandemic, we discuss nine ways employers can legally reduce their labor costs in China here: How to Legally Reduce Labor Costs in China During the Coronavirus Outbreak.
  • April 28 – China reported 6 new cases today: 3 were imported cases and 3 were local cases (3 cases in Heilongjiang). There were no new deaths. 40 new cases of asymptomatic infections were reported. (Daily bulletin in Chinese here.)
  • China is gradually returning to normal even as it prepares against possibility of a second wave of the outbreak. Beijing has announced new regulations that include requiring residents to practice good behavior, such as covering their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, not eating on public transport, and wearing a mask in public if sick. Restaurants will also be required to provide serving utensils and avoid sharing portions, when possible. The regulations come into force on June 1.
  • April 27 – China’s National Health Commission reported just 3 cases as of April 26, Sunday: 2 were imported cases and 1 was a local case (1 case in Heilongjiang). No new deaths were reported. Meanwhile, Wuhan, capital of Hubei province – and where the pandemic originated – has discharged all of its coronavirus patients.
  • We have updated our article covering the latest updates on travel policies across China, including new restrictions introduced in northeast China, the country’s color-coded health monitoring scheme, identification of new risk areas, and other micro-control measures. You can read the updated version here – China’s Travel Restrictions due to COVID-19: An Explainer.
  • April 24 – China reporting low numbers again today in its daily bulletin released by the National Health Commission: 6 new cases out of which 2 were imported and 4 were local (3 in Heilongjiang province, 1 in Guangdong province). This is the seventh consecutive day with no deaths reported on the mainland. (See the official bulletin in Chinese here.) There were 34 new cases of asymptomatic infections recorded.
  • To combat the economic fallout of COVID-19, the Hong Kong SAR government announced a set of new enhanced terms for the 80 percent, 90 percent, and special 100 percent guarantee loans for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Under the Enhanced 100 Percent Loan Guarantee Scheme, the guarantee commitment has been increased to HK$50 billion (US$6.5 billion). Eligible SMEs will receive a maximum loan amount of HK$4 million (US$520,000) and can benefit from the principal moratorium arrangement for the first 12 months. We explain the loan schemes here: Hong Kong’s New SME Financing Guarantee Scheme: An Explainer.
  • April 23 – China reported ten new coronavirus cases today, of which 6 were imported cases and 4 were local (3 cases in Heilongjiang, 1 in Guangdong). For six days in a row now  there have been no new deaths reported. The National Health Commission reported 27 new asymptomatic cases. There are currently 959 active cases in total, including 63 in critical condition. (See Thursday’s Chinese official bulletin here.)
  • Citing state media sources, Reuters is reporting that Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang, is banning entry of non locals and out of area vehicles. The province now has the largest outbreak of coronavirus cases, mainly involving travelers from across the Russian border or coming in from epidemic areas abroad. Earlier this month, Harbin announced there would be “28 days of quarantine for all arrivals from abroad, with two nucleic acid tests and an antibody test for each. It also set 14-day lockdowns for residences where confirmed and asymptomatic cases are found.”
  • April 22 – China reported 30 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday morning – 23 of which were imported involving travelers from overseas (up from 11 the day before).
    Asymptomatic cases rose to 42 from 37 a day earlier, according to the National Health Commission (see here for the official daily bulletin).
    Thus far, mainland China has reported a total of 82,788 cases of COVID-19. No new deaths were reported, which keeps the death toll at 4,632.
  • April 21 – According to China’s National Health Commission’s Tuesday’s bulletin report: 11 new infections were confirmed on Monday, out of which 4 were imported. The 7 local cases were recorded in Heilongjiang (6), the northeast province bordering Russia, and Guangdong (1) province. (Tuesday’s official update in Chinese here.) There were 0 new deaths reported Monday; the total number of cases in mainland China is at 82,758 and the death toll remains 4,632. China also reported 37 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases, down from 49 on Sunday.
    Reuters note that areas considered to be at medium-risk in China include two districts in Harbin, the city of Suifenhe in Heilongjiang, two districts in the southern city of Guangzhou, and Jiaozhou city in eastern Shandong province.
  • China is currently implementing Wuhan-type strict lockdown measures in the city of Suifenhe, Heilongjiang province, where at least 2,000 Chinese nationals crossed over from Russia until the border checkpoint was closed April 7. Suifenhe City, with a local population of about 70,000, is now a new COVID-19 hotspot in ChinaThe Guardian reported over the weekend that “a total of 346 Chinese nationals returning from Moscow through Suifenhe contracted COVID-19”according to a statement from the Chinese consulate in Vladivostok on Thursday.
    Reuters reported Sunday, April 19, that most of the locally transmitted cases in Heilongjiang province, were related to one imported case in the capital, Harbin. On Friday, April 17, “18 officials in Harbin, including a vice mayor, were punished”, according to the news agency.
  • The latest article in our ongoing coverage of new business opportunities in China in the aftermath of the coronavirus looks at changing preferences and investment opportunities in the country’s fresh food and meat industry, including cold chain, e-commerce, and technology. Read it here – How COVID-19 Will Transform the Fresh Food Industry in China.
  • We have updated our COVID-19 policy tracker here – China’s Support Policies for Businesses Under COVID-19: A Comprehensive List and our article outlining how businesses can use these preferential policies, including foreign investors here – How to Use China’s Preferential Policies Rolled Out amid COVID-19.
  • April 20 – According to China’s National Health Commission Monday update (here in Chinese), 12 new cases were recorded yesterday, out of which 8 were imported; 16 cases were recorded on Saturday, out of which 9 were imported. The 4 cases of local infection on Sunday were recorded in the northeastern border province of Heilongjiang (3) and Inner Mongolia (1).
    The health commission also reported that 49 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases (5 of which were imported) were recorded on April 19 on the mainland, compared to 44 on Saturday.
    As per reporting from Reuters, as of the end of April 19, mainland China has an accumulated total of 82,747 cases and 4,632 deaths.
  • Wuhan deaths revised – the death toll has been raised by 1,300 or 50 percent, from 2,579 to 3,869. The Guardian reports: Wuhan’s taskforce on virus prevention and control explains the sudden change in reporting is not due to a cover up but the fact that a “number of patients had died at home before reaching hospital, as well as late and inaccurate reporting”. The revised death toll is thus a rectified number.
  • April 17 – China reported 26 newly confirmed cases, of which 15 were imported from abroad and 11 were local (5 in Guangdong, 3 in Heilongjiang, 2 in Shandong, and 1 in Liaoning). No new death was recorded yesterday. (Official update in Chinese here.) So far, a total of 3,342 deaths and 82,367 confirmed cases have been reported, according to the Friday briefing from the National Health Commission.
    There were 66 new cases of asymptomatic infection, including 3 cases of asymptomatic infection imported from abroad.
  • We write about Hong Kong’s latest stimulus measures to help ailing businesses stay afloat and support individuals seeking job security. This will be the third and largest stimulus package rolled out by the Hong Kong government this year, following the first round epidemic fund of HK$30 billion (US$4 billion), and the HK$120 billion (US$15.5 billion) worth of relief measures introduced in the Hong Kong 2020-2021 Budget. You can read it here – Hong Kong Unveils Anti-Epidemic Fund 2.0: Support for Businesses, Job Retention.
  • April 16 – China reported 46 newly confirmed cases on Thursday, of which 34 cases involved travelers arriving from overseas, and 12 were locally transmitted (5 in Guangdong, 4 in Heilongjiang, and 3 in Beijing). No death was recorded yesterday. China’s capital reported local infections for the first time since March 23. (See official update in Chinese here.) The National Health Commission also reported 64 new asymptomatic infections, including 3 cases imported from abroad. A total of 3,342 deaths and 82,341 confirmed cases have been reported until now.
  • April 15 – The National Health Commission reported on Wednesday that China had 46 newly diagnosed cases, of which 36 were imported and 10 were local (8 in Heilongjiang, 2 in Guangdong). This is a decline in new confirmed cases on the mainland from the 89 new cases reported the day before. However, an increasing number of local transmissions in the far northeast province of Heilongjiang, which borders Russia remains a concern for authorities. 57 new cases of asymptomatic infections were also reported. 1 new death was reported in Hubei.
  • Chinese state media Xinhua reported Tuesday that the country is conducting early-stage human testing for two experimental vaccines targeting the COVID-19 coronavirus, developed by the Beijing unit of Sinovac Biotech (listed on Nasdaq) and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products; the latter is an affiliate of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group. Previously, in March, China greenlit a clinical trial for another potential coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and Hong Kong-listed biotech firm CanSino Bio.
  • April 14 – China’s National Health Commission reported 89 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday (see official update in Chinese here). Of these, 86 cases were imported and 3 were local (Guangdong). No new deaths were reported. 3 new suspected cases were reported (2 in Shanghai and 1 in Inner Mongolia). As of the end of April 13, a total of 82,249 confirmed cases were reported by China.
    There were 54 new cases of asymptomatic infections reported, including 5 cases of asymptomatic infections imported from abroad.
  • April 13 – China’s imported infections are rapidly growing. On Saturday, the National Health Commission reported 99 cases (double the 46 on Friday).
    On Sunday, there were 108 infections reported (see official update in Chinese here), 2 new deaths in Wuhan – the epicenter of the outbreak, and 6 new suspected cases – all of which were imported (4 in Heilongjiang province and 2 in Shanghai).
    Sunday’s figures are the highest reported in over five weeks in China. 98 of the 108 confirmed infections were imported, including 7 local cases in Heilongjiang province that is emerging as a hotspot of imported infections due to people traveling from across the Russian border.
    Chinese authorities are scaling up restrictions – reminiscent of the Wuhan lockdown – on movement and travel in parts of Heilongjiang province, particularly its capital, Harbin, and the border city of Suifenhe. According to The Guardian, “Suifenhe was one of the few routes for people to return to China from Russia after Russia stopped all flights and closed its land border to incoming traffic in late January and early February.”
    All new arrivals to Harbin and Suifenhe City will undergo testing and be under quarantine for 28 days. In Harbin, residential areas where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed (both asymptomatic and people showing symptoms) will be locked down for 14 days.
  • April 10 – After two consecutive days of increases in the number of confirmed cases (almost all of which have been imported), China’s National Health Commission reported a dip today – 42 newly confirmed cases, out of which 38 were imported and 4 were local (3 in Guangdong and 1 in Heilongjiang). 47 new asymptomatic patients were infected, including 14 imported asymptomatic patients. There was 1 new death recorded yesterday (in Hubei province). There are currently 733 confirmed cases (including 34 severe cases) imported from abroad. No death yet recorded from imported cases. China has now reported a total of 3,336 deaths and 81,907 confirmed cases. (See the official update here in Chinese.)
  • April 9 – China reported 63 new confirmed cases today (61 imported, 2 locally transmitted in Guangdong province) and 2 new deaths. This brings the total to 81,865 confirmed cases and 3,335 deaths. Currently, 729 confirmed cases have been recorded as imported from abroad, bringing the total to 1,103 imported cases. No death has been reported from imported cases. The National Health Commission also reported 56 new cases of asymptomatic infection, among which, 28 cases were imported from abroad. (See latest briefing here in Chinese.)
  • Some numbers here from the capital, Beijing, and business center, Shanghai. According to data collected from AliHealth under Alipay – as of April 8:
    a) Beijing has 125 existing confirmed cases. A total of 588 infections and 8 deaths have been found in Beijing since the outbreak. Of them, 455 have been cured. (Official link from today in Chinese here.)
    b) Shanghai has 130 existing confirmed cases. A total of 543 infections and 7 deaths have been found in Shanghai since the outbreak. Of them, 406 have been cured. (Official link from today in Chinese here, stating that a total of 417 cases were cured and discharged.)
  • The latest update from China’s National Health Commission (in Chinese here) states that new confirmed cases rose to 62 yesterday, the highest since March 25. Imported infections accounted for 59 of these cases; the three local cases were in Shandong province (2) and Guangdong province (1).
  • One-third of the imported infections in April are from Russia. Reuters reports that Suifenhe City in Heilongjiang province, which shares its border with Russia, has begun to restrict the movement of its citizens like in Wuhan. Imported cases reported in the northern Chinese province on April 7 were at 25, a daily high. “Residents must stay in residential compounds and one person from a family can leave once every three days to buy necessities and must return on the same day, said state-run CCTV.” (See state-owned China Daily article here in Chinese reporting on the official notice on new management orders and restrictions in Suifenhe City triggered from 6am CST, April 8.)
  • According to reporting by Reuters, based on official figures, “over 50,000 people in Wuhan caught the virus, and more than 2,500 of them died, about 80% of all deaths in China”. Wuhan recorded only “three new confirmed infections in the past 21 days and only two new infections in the past fortnight.” Reuters also reports that about 55,000 people are expected to depart Wuhan by train today. Flights have resumed at Wuhan Tianhe airport although routes to Beijing and international destinations have not been restored.
  • April 8 – The unprecedented lockdown on Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, and epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak has been lifted today after 11 weeks. The city is now open for business and people can now travel across its border as the first train resumed service Wednesday morning. The Guardian writes, “As of just after midnight Wednesday, the city’s 11 million residents are now permitted to leave without special authorization as long as a mandatory smartphone application powered by a mix of data-tracking and government surveillance shows they are healthy and have not been in recent contact with anyone confirmed to have the virus.” We have written about the travel monitoring and surveillance here.
  • April 7 – As per the National Health Commission’s update for Tuesday (see here in Chinese), China’s latest tally is as follows: 32 new confirmed infections, all imported; 30 new asymptomatic cases; 0 new deaths. This is the first time China is reporting no new deaths since January.
    The tally reported Monday, April 6, saw 39 new confirmed cases and all except 1 were imported and 1 death in Hubei province (see here in Chinese).
    China has now turned its fight against COVID-19 on two fronts – one, limiting exposure to infections from foreign arrivals through stringent travel restrictions and two, by focusing on asymptomatic cases. Since April 4, China’s daily tally has started to include numbers of asymptomatic cases.
    As a result of this, the country is witnessing another round of preventive measures as authorities race to remove any possibility of a COVID-19 rebound. For example, it was reported Monday that 45 residential compounds (out of 7,000) had their epidemic-free status revoked to ensure that lockdown measures would continue due to the presence of asymptomatic infections. The Guardian reports that residents in Wuhan had for the first time been allowed to move outside their residence for up to two hours in a day if they cleared the ‘green health code’. Wuhan was also set to lift its border restrictions starting tomorrow, but it remains to be seen if this plan will go ahead. Wuhan is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak and its first officially identified infections were recorded in December.
  • A reflective, if not slightly sobering, op-ed here from Riccardo Benussi who manages the International Business Advisory division at Dezan Shira & Associates’ Shanghai office on the pervasive impact of COVID-19 on business and economic recovery in China – COVID-19’s Grim Milestones: Impact on Business is Real but Opens Up New Growth Areas. He writes that “several companies are not silently watching – they have adapted like chameleons to the situation and stretched their brand, reshuffled their production lines, and catered to new needs. In short, they have listened to the market and taken a risk or two, making COVID-19 the main propeller for new growth in some sectors and reviving dormant potential in others.” Benussi briefly highlights some of the new opportunities emerging for the taking for foreign investors and industrious enterprises in China during this time.
    Follow our continuing coverage of the business, economic, HR, payroll, regulatory, and tax developments in China as well as ongoing impact of COVID-19 here on China Briefing. (To make it easier, you can obtain a complimentary subscription to China Briefing by registering here.)
    For advisory concerning your China business operations during COVID-19, please contact Dezan Shira & Associates at china@dezshira.com. We are on the ground with 13 China offices and can assist.
  • April 4 also marks the first day of the annual tomb sweeping festival Qingming, when usually millions of Chinese travel to their hometowns to pay respect to their departed relatives and ancestors. This year, Reuters reports that Chinese authorities are instead encouraging people to watch cemetery staff go about their tasks via streaming online as new travel restrictions to prevent internal spread of the virus will likely curb any mass movement for the foreseeable future.
  • China reported 19 new cases on Friday, predominantly those who traveled from abroad.
  • April 4 – China is observing a day of mourning today. A 3-minute silence brought the country to a halt as it struck 10am; people stood in silence, heads bowed in remembrance of those who had lost their lives to COVID-19 and to pay respect to the health workers who died on the frontline as it were. The Guardian reports eloquently: “At 10am Beijing time, citizens paused; cars, trains and ships sounded their horns; and air-raid sirens rang out in memory of the more than 3,000 lives claimed by the virus in China. In Wuhan – the city where the virus first emerged late last year – sirens and horns sounded as people fell silent in the streets. Staff at the Tongji hospital stood outside with heads bowed towards the main building, some in the protective hazmat suits that have become a symbol of the crisis worldwide.”
  • The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), which borders Vietnam, is suspending transport across the border and is controlling the cross-border movement of people over fears of imported cases. Only ports for freight transport have remained open, according to the region’s health commission.
  • April 3 – China reported 31 new confirmed infections today – 29 imported cases and 2 locally transmitted cases (1 in Liaoning province and 1 in Guangdong province). 4 new deaths were reported, all in Wuhan. There were 60 new cases of asymptomatic infection, of which 7 were from abroad. The imported 7 cases were confirmed on the same day. (See the briefing from the National Health Commission here in Chinese.)
    The total cases since the outbreak broke in China is now 81,620 including 3,322 deaths.
  • Wuhan authorities are set to lift travel restrictions on April 8 – but these can be availed only by those showing a ‘green’ health code. The city has also been warned to remain vigilant with residents being advised to stay indoors and practice preventative measures despite the scheduled ease on travel curbs. The reason is fears of a rebound or second wave of the outbreak due to ‘internal and external risks’ as per Wang Zhonglin, Wuhan’s Communist Party Secretary. (We explain the country’s travel restrictions and the “health code” in this article.)
  • There are now more than 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and more than 51,400 deaths.
  • China has announced that it will be observing Saturday, April 4, as a national day of mourning to pay respect to 14 ‘martyrs’ who died in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease. According to The Guardian, embassies and consulates are expected to fly their flags at half-mast, public entertainment will cease on the day, and there will be a 3-minute silence observed at 10am.
  • April 2 – China reported 35 imported cases and 6 deaths (as of the end of April 1). The National Health Commission also noted in its briefing today that there were 55 new cases of asymptomatic infection, of which 17 cases are from overseas and 9 cases have been confirmed as infected patients. This means that a total of 1,075 asymptomatic infected patients are under medical observation now (226 imported from abroad).
  • China has extended the deadline for tax filing in April from April 20, 2020 to April 24, 2020, nationwide. However, businesses can apply for further extension.
  • Latest from China Briefing – China’s Travel Restrictions due to COVID-19: An Explainer – we provide information on the latest travel policies in China, implemented temporarily due to COVID-19 (and meant to contain any internal spread of the coronavirus), to help business travelers understand the current situation and develop feasible travel plans.
  • April 1 – China’s National Health Commission announced today that 36 new infections were reported yesterday, and 7 deaths. 35 of the new confirmed cases were imported and one new case was recorded in Guangdong province. 130 new asymptomatic cases were recorded Monday, of which two were confirmed as infected patients.
  • As China closes its borders to almost all international travel, many foreign-invested entities will need to manage critical decision making remotely. China Briefing has been writing about the best available cloud-based  services and other IT tools and applications that can facilitate efficient management during a period of crisis like the coronavirus outbreak.
    In our latest article, we gather insights from our in-house experts on key decision making that needs to be done by a company CFO of a China entity at this time, including the implementation of new policies remotely – Firefighting, Cash Flow Management, and Digitization – Short Term Solutions for CFOs.
  • Chinese companies are now reporting a pick-up in economic activity. The country’s composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) that tracks activity across service sector firms and factories rebounded to 53 in March from a record low of 28.9 in February. A number below the 50 mark would indicate contraction.
    The manufacturing PMI has risen to 52 in March, up from 35.7 in February and the services PMI rose to 52.3, up from 29.6 in February. Since PMI constitutes self-reporting by managers, China’s National Bureau of Statistics is still cautious: “[it] reflects that more than half of the surveyed enterprises have resumed work and resumed production, better than last month, but it does not mean that China’s economic operation has returned to normal.” According to Reuters, “New export orders received by Chinese manufacturers ticked up to 46.4 from 28.7 in February, but were still mired in contraction.” With the pandemic spread widely across Europe and the US, the economic downturn could last awhile longer.
  • March 31 – It has been one week since Wuhan, epicenter of the outbreak, confirmed a new locally transmitted case. In its latest briefing, the National Health Commission noted 48 new cases on the mainland, all of which were imported. There was one death reported, in Hubei province, on March 30.
  • March 30 – Yesterday, China reported 31 new cases, 30 of which were imported. The only locally transmitted case was in Gansu province. This brings the total number of imported cases to 723. The March 29 briefing from China’s National Health Commission can be accessed here (in Chinese). Until Sunday, March 29, there were a total of 81,470 confirmed cases and 3,304 deaths.
  • China has been surpassed by Italy and the US in terms of the highest number of infections as the rest of world combats the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. China is gradually reopening although experts warn against relaxing precautionary restrictions just yet. On Friday, the country’s Film Bureau announced that all cinemas needed to close immediately despite having plans in place to air popular films to attract audiences so that venues could recoup some of the lost profits with directors and producers waiving their right to their cut of the revenue. No reason was given but its likely due to fears of a possible second wave of the virus breaking out. Some 600 out of 70,000 cinemas had reopened in the last two weeks, although to very little business.
  • China’s closure of its borders to all foreign arrivals has an immediate and urgent impact on foreign investors business operations during COVID-19. We look at appointing temporary China General Managers and Legally Responsible Persons, and how to cater for legal issues, HR, and financial management in China by sub-contracting that work to professional firms on the ground – China Business Continuity Issues That Need to Be Put in Place Now.
  • March 27 – Mainland China has reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus infection in three days – in Zhejiang Province. Cases involving overseas travelers are still dominating the total number of new cases and explains China’s decision to immediately close its borders.
    At its briefing on Friday, the National Health Commission reported that 55 new cases were confirmed yesterday – 54 were imported – and 5 new deaths. This brings the total number of infections in mainland China to 81,340 and the death toll to 3,292.
  • China is temporarily banning foreigners from entering the country. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was “suspending the entry of foreign nationals” because of the “rapid spread of Covid-19 across the world”. According to the BBC, the suspension will apply to foreigners even if they hold visas and residence passes, but not to diplomats or those with C visas (usually aircraft crew). People with “emergency humanitarian needs” or those working in certain fields can apply for exceptions.
  • We have updated our COVID-19 Policy Tracker that lists out the Chinese government’s support policies for business enterprises and industries. The updates have been made in categories relating to industry, legal services, tax, trade and investment, and social security as well as Beijing’s SME sector. See here – China’s Support Policies for Businesses Under COVID-19: A Comprehensive List.
  • March 26 – On Wednesday’s briefing, China’s National Health Commission reported 67 new cases imported from overseas: Shanghai (18), Inner Mongolia (12), Guangdong (11), Beijing (6), Fujian (6), Shaanxi (3), Tianjin (2), Xhejiang (2), Jiangsu (2), Yunnan (2), Shanxi (1), Jilin (1), and Henan (1). Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak and capital of Hubei Province, recorded no new confirmed case or suspected case, meaning this is the second consecutive day of no locally transmitted cases. The new cases reported from Wednesday are all travelers from abroad and brings the cumulative total to 81,285 confirmed cases in China (in which a total of 541 confirmed cases have been imported).
  • Our in-house experts discuss the best IT solutions available to businesses in China to digitize and optimize work processes as COVID-19 disrupts traditional work models. It is now becoming evident that businesses need to invest in IT tools that will mitigate their exposure to the unpredictable impact of black swan events like the outbreak. In China After COVID-19: How Foreign Companies Can Leverage Key IT Solutions, we discuss scalable, adaptable, and cost-effective tools for virtual workforce collaboration, digital accounting, and expenses management.
  • March 25 – China is reporting a drop in new confirmed infections today as no local transmissions were recorded on Tuesday. On March 24, the number of new cases on the mainland were 47, all imported. This figure is down from Monday, which saw a total of 78 cases (74 imported).
  • March 24 – In its Tuesday briefing, China’s National Health Commission reported 78 new cases of COVID-19, and seven deaths on the mainland. All the deaths were in Hubei province. Among the 78 new cases, four were locally transmitted, including one in Wuhan and three elsewhere. Others were described as imported, including 31 in Beijing, 14 in Guangdong province, 9 in Shanghai, and 5 in Fujian province.
  • Non-residents who were stuck in Wuhan (Hubei province), the epicenter of the outbreak, due to the lockdown, may now apply to leave the city if they have been issued a green health code (via a smartphone app), reports The Guardian. Public transport has resumed and people can now move about their daily tasks or go to work if they are healthy. For instance, people can now shop at grocery stores – they will need to have their health code verified (by the smartphone app), have their temperatures checked, and register their names.
  • Provinces in China are gradually announcing dates for when schools will reopen.
  • March 23 – On Monday, China reported that all its new cases (39) were imported; this is a drop in new figures which had been rising in the last four days. It can be attributed to China’s policy of diverting Beijing-bound traffic and strict measures to check those coming from overseas. Confirmed cases were recorded in Beijing (10), Shanghai (10), Fujian province (6), and Guangdong province (6), Shandong province (2), Gansu province (2), Zhejiang province (1), Henan province (1), and Chongqing (1).
    A total of 81,093 cases have been confirmed so far, according to the National Health Commission; 9 new deaths were recorded on Sunday, bringing the toll to 3,270.
  • March 22 – China has started diverting all Beijing-bound international flights to other airports for thorough screening before allowing them to continue on and disembark in the capital.
    China reported Sunday that it had confirmed its first domestic infection in four days.
  • Beginning March 20, exporters in China will enjoy increased tax rebates for around 1,464 products. In addition, authorities plan to expedite customs channels for key material required for resumption of work and production. Financial institutions have also been encouraged to increase foreign trade loans and credit supply. We cover the latest support measures introduced by China for trading companies here – Trading Businesses in China to Avail Export Tax Rebates, Customs Duty Exemptions.
  • Hubei (where the outbreak began) has still kept its provincial borders closed although some travel restrictions have loosened locally. According to authorities – the quarantine will be lifted only if the region goes 14 days with no new cases.
  • March 20 – China reports no local community transmission for a second consecutive day – all 39 new confirmed cases recorded on Thursday were imported, according to the National Health Commission. The new cases were recorded in Guangdong (14), Shanghai (8), Beijing (6), Fujian (3), and one each in Tianjin, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Zhejiang, Shandong, Guangxi, Sichuan, and Gansu.
  • According to the state-backed China Daily, the lockdown of Wuhan may likely be lifted if there are no new cases for 14 days. Wuhan is a key manufacturing hub in central China.
  • To help our readers better understand and leverage the new preferential policies rolled out by different levels of Chinese government, our latest article breaks down the policies into five categories – work resumption, tax breaks, social insurance cuts, financial stimulus, and support for special industries and entities. Access it here – How to Use China’s Preferential Policies Rolled Out amid COVID-19. If you have any questions, you may reach out to our team of professionals at China@dezshira.com.
  • The Guardian reports of farewell ceremonies in the capital city Wuhan, Hubei province where the outbreak began, to thank medical workers from Jiangsu province. The challenge is now to combat a possible second wave of infections from people returning from overseas.
  • March 19 – China’s National Health Commission reported Thursday that there were 34 new confirmed cases in the country, but all were imported. In Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, there were no new cases recorded on Wednesday.
  • The number of coronavirus infections around the world has crossed the 200,000 mark, according to tracking by the John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering real-time dashboard.
  • China Briefing looks at the reasons why foreign investors in China should take the long-term view when planning their Asia investment strategy. Under the outbreak, China has shown how integral it is to global supply chains, how efficiently it has been able to contain and mitigate infections, and the quick roll-out of tax breaks, incentives, and relaxations for small and medium enterprises. Read more in our latest article – 3 Reasons Foreign Investors Should Stick with China amid the Coronavirus.
  • As of March 18, mainland China has recorded two consecutive days of reporting 1 domestic infection. Also, new cases reported in Hubei province – the epicenter of the outbreak – has been in single digits for the last 7 days.
  • March 18 – As of yesterday, mainland China reported 13 new confirmed cases, a fall from 21 cases reported on Monday. The National Health Commission stated that all the new coronavirus infections but one were imported; the accumulative number of imported cases is 155 now and the total number of confirmed cases is 80,894 as of the commission’s Wednesday update.
    By the end of Tuesday, the total death toll on the mainland reached 3,237, an addition of 11 deaths from the previous day. All new deaths were in Hubei province and all but one in Wuhan.
  • March 17 – The latest briefing from the National Health Commission reports that China had 21 new cases yesterday (1 in Wuhan, Hubei province and 20 imported cases); there are 80,881 accumulative cases of infection and 3,226 deaths.
  • In the latest article from China Briefing, our experts discuss the cloud-based solutions available to businesses in China as work-from-home becomes increasingly the norm after the COVID-19 outbreak. See “COVID-19: Which IT Systems to Deploy to Assist Employees Working from Home“.
  • China boosts face mask production capacity by 450 percent in a month, reports the South China Morning Post – rising from 20 million to 110 million in February with 3,000 new producers entering the market. The article notes that carmakers BYD and SAIC, iPhone assembler Foxconn, and oil company Sinopec are among new entrants in the industry. The National Development and Reform Commission informed that as of Saturday, China’s daily output of face masks reached 116 million units or 12 times the figure reported on February 1.
  • March 16 – The last week has culminated in the dramatic increase of global infections as China’s situation has more or less stabilized. Total deaths inside mainland China stood at 3,208 as of Monday while deaths outside of China rose to 3,241. As of March 15, the National Health Commission reported a total of 9,898 confirmed cases. (16 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths on March 15; 4 confirmed cases in Wuhan, Hubei province and the other 12 from overseas.) See here for the latest update from the commission.
  • March 14 – The rate of local transmission is slowing down in China as per the latest data from the National Health Commission. As of the end of Friday, March 13, the number of new COVID-19 cases brought from overseas had exceeded local infections. Mainland China recorded 11 new confirmed cases on Friday; 7 of these cases were imported. This included 4 in Shanghai, 1 in Beijing, and 2 in Gansu – with travelers coming in from Italy, the US, and Saudi Arabia.
  • We continue to update our China COVID-19 policy tracker – China’s Support Policies for Businesses Under COVID-19: A Comprehensive List – which records the latest policies put out out by China’s central and local governments to shore up the confidence of businesses and ease some of their compliance burdens.
  • March 13 – On Friday, China’s National Health Commission reported that mainland China had 8 new confirmed cases on Thursday, down from 15 cases a day earlier. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the mainland to 80,813. As of the end of Thursday, the death toll had reached 3,176 with 7 new deaths; Wuhan accounting for all of the fatalities but one. Total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has crossed 128,000 worldwide.
  • Total number of coronavirus cases worldwide stands at 127,748, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.
  • With COVID-19 spreading around the world, all businesses globally should be taking steps to coordinate with remote staff and prioritize the security of company communications. Read our latest article on China Briefing, which examines the technical and administrative steps that can be taken to ensure your business runs efficiently and effectively at this time – COVID-19 Global Outbreaks: Coordinating Your Remote Business Operations.
  • March 12 – China reported 15 new infections in mainland China, eight of which are in Hubei. There have been 11 new deaths, 10 of which were in Hubei.
  • Globally, the new strain of coronavirus has now spread to over 110 countries, with 119,541 people affected around the world and death toll at 4,292
  • The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, stating that the number of cases outside of China has increased 13-fold in the past two weeks. WHO Director-General Dr Tedor Adhanom called on all countries to take “urgent and aggressive action.” He continued by saying, “all countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”
  • Australia has announced a AUD $17.6 billion (US$11.4 billion) economic stimulus package in a bid to keep Australians in jobs and support households. The package includes incentives to fast track investments, wage subsidies for apprentices, cash payments of up to $25,000 for small and medium businesses.
  • The US has announced that it will suspend all travel from the European Union for 30 days, beginning this Friday. This comes as the US reached 1,000 confirmed cases, and the number of deaths rose to 37.
  • Key industries in Wuhan are set to resume, including public transport, medical supply, and production of daily necessities, with workers receiving the okay to return (see official announcement here). Industries crucial to national or global supply chains will require permission from relevant authorities before they can resume production. Other companies cannot resume operations before March 20, 2020. However, educational institutions are still delayed from reopening pending scientific assessment.
  • March 11 – China is now reporting an increase in imported cases as the domestic spread of the virus has significantly slowed down. 40 percent of the new cases reported on Wednesday morning by the National Health Commission were imported from overseas, bringing the total number to 79, as reported in the South China Morning Post today. China reported only 24 new cases and 22 new deaths, including a record low of new cases in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak (13).
  • Global confirmed cases of COVID-19 crossed 113,000 and total deaths exceeded 4,000, according to the John Hopkins University tracker.
  • Outside China – Italy (9,172 confirmed), South Korea (7,478), and Iran (7,161) remain the worst-hit countries, while the situation in France, Japan, Germany, Spain, and the US are worrisome due to the growing infections.
    Italy extended its lockdown to the entire country on March 10 after initial restrictions on North Italy failed to contain the spread of the infection.
  • March 10 – On Tuesday morning, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan for the first time since the epidemic began, signaling that Beijing’s control efforts may be at a turning point.
    Mainland China reported just 19 new confirmed cases on Monday; the total number of infections in the country is now 80,924, according to the country’s National Health Commission.
  • On Monday, both the US and UK stock markets suffered the biggest plummet since the 2008 financial crisis. In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 2,000 points and S&P 500 plunged 7 percent.
  • March 9 – The John Hopkins tracker shows that confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide has crossed 110,000 to 111,321 cases as of March 9, 2020. The global death toll is now at 3,892. Mainland China has a total of 80,735 cases.
    On Monday morning, China’s National Health Commission said it recorded 40 new coronavirus cases – all but four cases diagnosed in the city of Wuhan. This is the lowest daily increase since China began daily reporting on January 20. China registered 22 deaths – all were in Hubei province except for one in Guangdong; total deaths in China reached 3,119.
  • With Russia cancelling the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) event in June, it seems apparent 2020 will see mass cancellations of events inviting global attendees for most of the year.
  • March 6 – In mainland China, confirmed cases reached 80,552. While the epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan, reported 126 new cases over 24 hours, the rest of Hubei province reported zero new cases. A Reuters estimate puts the global number of confirmed cases at over 98,000 with more than 3,300 deaths recorded. The worst affected country outside of China is South Korea, with over 6,500 confirmed cases – more on our sister publication, ASEAN Briefing, accessed here.
  • March 5 – Confirmed cases in mainland China reached 80,409 with 139 new cases reported since yesterday. Death toll is 3,012 after 31 new deaths recorded on Wednesday.
  • The Guardian reports that the global death toll is at 3,190 – more than 93,000 people infected in more than 80 countries. The worst hit country outside of China is South Korea, which recorded 5,328 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday; to learn more – read our coverage on affected countries across Asia, including ASEAN here.
  • China has extended the deadline for tax filing in March by one week, from March 16, 2020 to March 23, 2020, nationwide. See our latest update on China Briefing here.
  • March 4 – Mainland China confirmed 119 new cases, 38 new deaths on March 3. At the end of Tuesday, the total cases of infection stood at 80,270 in the country. As per these numbers, the rate of infection has slowed down since the previous day when 125 new cases had been reported.
  • China Briefing has compiled a list of support policies implemented by China’s central and local governments to ease the compliance and financial burden on businesses across the country, including foreign-invested enterprises and foreign trade. The list serves as a COVID-19 policy tracker for businesses in China and can be read here; it will be continuously updated.
  • Hong Kong is planning to run two charter flights from Wuhan to bring 533 residents back home. The number is tentative as the people will undergo multiple tests to ensure they are not infected by the virus. The Hong Kong residents include pregnant women, cancer patients, and students who are expected to give exams. Hong Kong officials are making extensive arrangements in advance to prepare against all public health risks, including that of cross-infection. There will be two doctors and two nurses on board each of the two flights. All the entrants will be immediately taken to a quarantine center by special transport where they will have to stay for 14 days.
  • On Tuesday, Hong Kong, Guangdong province, and Shanghai announced that all people entering their respective jurisdictions will need to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine – if they have traveled to any of the seriously coronavirus-affected regions. There are strict penalties in place in case any person misreports their travel histories. The latest rules apply to all nationalities and seeks to avoid import of new infections as well as contain the domestic spread of the outbreak.
  • March 3 – China’s daily reporting on Tuesday stated there were a total of 80,151 infections and 125 new cases of which 114 were confirmed in Hubei. Hubei also recorded all the 31 new deaths in the country. The death toll is 2,943. However, 59 percent of those diagnosed have recovered (47,204 people). All indications therefore point to numbers dropping. Worldwide, infections crossed 90,000 across 60 countries.
  • Our special issue of China Briefing magazine, titled “Operating Your China Business during a Crisis and Contagious Disease Outbreaks” is available as a complimentary download and offers critical operational insights for managers in China whose businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. We also discuss the available IT solutions as China’s remote workforce experiment becomes the new normal, and answer important HR, payroll, and legal questions.
    The magazine has been made available as a free download for a limited duration – see here.
  • Nearly 300 million people are back to work in China although smaller companies are finding it difficult to resume operations after the extended Lunar New Year break according to The Guardian.
  • March 2 – Global death toll surpassed 3,000 on Monday. Worldwide, Covid-19 has infected more than 88,000 people and spread to more than 60 countries.
    China’s national health commission reported 202 new infections today and 42 new deaths; this is the lowest daily rise recorded since late January, according to The Guardian. As epicenter of the outbreak, Hubei continues to record the most new cases at 196 out of 202 as well as all the deaths. China’s death toll has reached 2,912.
  • March 1 – The WHO raises its assessment of the risk of spread and impact of the coronavirus to ‘very high’ at a global level as new infections continued to rise sharply outside China.
  • February 27 – As of 6am Geneva time – the WHO reported that China had recorded a total of 78,630 confirmed cases; 2,747 deaths. There have been 3,474 cases reported outside China – in 44 countries – and 54 deaths. This is the second consecutive day where the number of new reported infections have exceeded – outside China.
  • As of Wednesday, February 26, Chinese health authorities stated that the rate of new infections had slowed down on the mainland with 433 new confirmed cases and 29 deaths.
  • February 26 – As per the latest data released by the AP, total confirmed global cases are 81,002 with 2,762 deaths. Cases recorded in mainland China are 78,064 with 2,715 deaths – mostly in Hubei Province.
  • Amid the social and economic disruption of the coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government has released a variety of measures to help foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) withstand the economic impacts. We cover the policies briefly in our latest article here.
  • February 25 – 80,000 people have been reportedly affected by the Covid-19 as of Tuesday. This includes 77,658 cases in mainland China and 2,663 deaths, predominantly in Hubei Province. Hong Kong has recorded 81 cases and 2 deaths, Macau has 10 cases.
  • February 23 – Over the weekend, China has reported 648 new confirmed cases, and 97 additional deaths, bringing the total to: 76,936 (confirmed) and 2,442 (deaths) in 31 provincial-level regions in mainland China, according to the National Health Commission at 24:00 on Feb 22.
  • February 21 – The Chinese mainland has reported 889 new cases, with 75,465 confirmed cases, 5,206 suspected cases, and 2,236 deaths in total (as of midnight February 20), according to China’s National Health Commission.
  • February 20 – The Hubei provincial government announced to postpone the restart of businesses to March 11, 2020. The epidemic prevention and control headquarter of Hubei said the situation remains tense despite a drop in daily reports of new infections in the province. We provide the most updated map tracking factory/office re-opening across China here.
  • What are the key economic impacts of the coronavirus on China’s economy? How can I successfully manage my Asia business during this time? Register for our upcoming webinar “Coronavirus Outbreak: Navigating China HR and Operational Questions” here (24th February, 2020 | 3PM-4PM China Time).
  • China is temporarily reducing social insurance commitments on SMEs to combat the financial stress caused by the Covid-19. Specifically, the State Council made a surprise decision to reduce or exempt corporate social insurance premiums (pension, unemployment, and work injury insurance) for enterprises, and defer payments made to the housing provident fund applicable for the next few months. We explain the new policy announcements in our latest article, “China to Reduce Corporate Social Insurance Premiums, Defer Housing Provident Fund Payment.”
  • Total cases in mainland China reached 74,576 with 394 new confirmed cases. The method of calculation has changed once again with Hubei’s health commission separating suspected cases from the confirmed cases once again. The Guardian explains this change – the new system has removed people who were clinically diagnosed (through scans and assessing symptoms) but were found negative through the nucleic acid test.
    Deaths from the Covid-19 in China now stands at 2,118 – 114 in the last 24 hours with 108 deaths recorded in Hubei Province.
  • February 19 – Total cases in mainland China stands at 74,185 and the total deaths from the virus reached 2,004. Globally, the total number of infections are 75,152. Confirmed cases in Hong Kong has reached 62. The Guardian reported a 40 percent spike in fatalities in Hubei overnight but also said that the rate of infection in China has slowed down with a fall in the number of new cases.
  • New investment opportunities are emerging in China’s online retail, education, telemedicine, pharmaceutical, and IT industries as a direct and indirect consequence of changing consumer patterns and business practices during the Covid-19 outbreak – latest from China Briefing here.
  • Chinese state media is reporting that officials are conducting house-to-house checks in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak and has a population of 11 million. Anyone suspected of carrying an infection will be tested and those who have had contact with infected patients will be quarantined. Those delaying the reporting of symptoms will be punished.
    The Guardian also reports the following as published in the Wuhan newspaper, Chutian Daily: “10 quarantine centers similar to the makeshift Fangcang hospital will be set up across eight districts in the city, providing over an additional 11,400 beds for people showing mild symptoms. Buildings in factories, industrial estates and transport centers were being converted into make shift centers for housing patients.” Further, “all communities and villages would be placed under around-the-clock “closed-off” management, in effect putting them under lock-downs.” In addition, the state-funded website, The Paper, is quoted reporting that “from Tuesday, anyone who buys cough medicine or treatments to bring down a fever in chemists or online will need to use their ID card.”
  • China’s State Tax Administration (STA) has announced a further extension for the deadline for tax filing in February to February 28.
  • The WHO has stated that the Covid-19 causes only mild disease in 80 percent of the people infected and has impacted older people more severely.
    “It appears that Covid-19 is not as deadly as other coronaviruses, including Sars and Mers,” said the WHO director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, as officials were “starting to get a clearer picture of the outbreak”.
    Chinese authorities have provided the WHO with data on 44,000 cases of Covid-19 recorded in Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. It also appears that the virus does not affect children in the same way as adults. Tedros elaborated: “More than 80% of patients have mild disease and will recover, 14% have severe disease including pneumonia and shortness of breath, 5% have critical disease including respiratory failure, septic shock and multi-organ failure, and 2% of cases are fatal… The risk of death increases the older you are.”
  • February 18 – The total number of infections confirmed in mainland China has reached 72,436 with 1,886 new confirmed infections reported on Monday. According to the country’s national health commission, 12,552 patients have so far recovered and been discharged from hospital.
    There were 98 new fatalities on Monday; 93 of them were recorded in Hubei Province with 72 of the deaths reported in the provincial capital and epicenter of the outbreak – Wuhan.
  • China’s legislature has postponed the Third Session of the 13th National People’s Congress (the annual Two Sessions meeting) that was scheduled to start March 3. This will be the first time the session is being postponed since becoming a fixed feature on the political calendar, and the reason is the obvious concerns associated with the mobilization of thousands of officials, delegates, and journalists to the capital as the country looks to curtail public gatherings. Further, officials will be focused on epidemic control.
  • The Guardian reports that Xinxian country in Henan Province, which is south of Beijing, is extending the quarantine period for its citizens to 21 days.
  • After Wuhan, Xiaogan city in central Hubei has enforced self-quarantine on its citizens to curtail the spread of the virus. The city has the second highest number of confirmed cases after Wuhan.
  • February 17 – Total confirmed cases of Covid-19 in China are 70,548; there are 2,048 new cases as per the health ministry’s Monday briefing – out of which 1,933 were reported in Hubei Province. The death toll in China has reached 1,770 – with 105 new deaths, out of which 100 were in Hubei.
  • February 16 – China announces a total of 68,500 infections and 1,665 deaths, with a Saturday overnight increase of an additional 2,000 cases. This comes after an overall decrease in infection rates.
  • Enterprises in Hubei Province are now expected to resume work starting February 21. The starting dates for colleges, primary and secondary schools, vocational schools, technical colleges, and kindergartens are also postponed. Wuhan city is a major manufacturing hub in Hubei and has been in lock down since January 23. This article shows the latest map explaining the official position – Updated: China Factory and Offices Reopening Schedules after Lunar New Year.
  • February 14 – Total number of confirmed cases in mainland China reached 63,851 – seeing a rise of 5,090 new cases. The death toll has reached 1,380 with 121 new deaths recorded on Thursday. (Note: The spike in the number of cases is due to the change in the methodology adopted by China for confirming cases, as mentioned previously.)
  • February 13 – Some confusion in China over the numbers of new overnight Covid-19 cases. Hubei’s Health Commission state an overnight rise of 14,440 new cases, while according to the Global Times, the overnight infections increased by 16,568. The latter figure means there are 61,221 confirmed cases in China, the majority of them in Hubei. The rise is far larger than previously recorded, due to a change in how infections are included in daily figures. This means that the jump is not caused by the virus suddenly becoming more infectious.
    In related news, Beijing has dismissed both the Hubei Party Secretary and the Wuhan city mayor, and replaced them with new officials from Shanghai and Jinan.
    The Director of the Hong Kong & Macau Affairs Office in Hong Kong has also been sacked.
  • What do China’s wildlife protection laws say about the pangolin – an endangered species now suspected as a carrier of the coronavirus (Covid-19)? Our latest op-ed from Chris Devonshire-Ellis can be read here.
  • China has rolled out a series of preferential policies related to corporate income tax, value-added tax, and individual income tax to stimulate the production capacity of businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak as well as to support individuals and firms involved in fighting the epidemic. Read our latest article here.
  • 10 members of one family in Hong Kong were infected while sharing Hot Pot with a mainland Chinese relative who had the virus. People are being urged not to eat from communal shared dishes and to use individual bowls.
  • The incubation period of the coronavirus could be longer than 14 days. South Korea reported their 24th case yesterday who had been in quarantine and had not had contact with any infected patients since January 25 – an 18 day time-frame.
  • Chris Devonshire-Ellis states that in the aftermath of the coronavirus, the Chinese government need to embark on a mass education campaign concerning the treatment and eating of wild animals. Tougher penalties should be introduced for the capture, trafficking, and consumption of all such animals, while the sanitary conditions of China’s traditional wet markets require a massive investment and overhaul. Products should be stored away from each other and the display of wild animals banned, in addition to the presence of wild birds and rodents entering such markets being prevented. Despite the initial high cost, Chinese sanitation companies and other specialists in this field can become world leaders in this market within a decade as the conditions China currently experiences are also prevalent in other parts of Asia, Africa, and South America.
  • China’s NDRC reports that 22 provinces in China have seen staff return to work, and that 58 percent of coal production and 95 percent of grain production and processing capacity has resumed, both important to maintain as energy and food supply stocks have run lower. Next week should see a further uptick in economic activity as the government expects 160 million people to return from the extended break on Monday, February 18.
  • February 12 – Cases in China reached 44,653 with 2,015 new cases. That represents a decrease of 18.6 percent over Tuesday. New fatalities reached 97 over-night but speaks to a reduction in the fatality rate, now at 10.2 percent. The spread of the coronavirus is slowing.
  • The coronavirus is officially named Covid-19, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus informed reporters in Geneva on Tuesday. The name consists of CO for coronavirus, VI for virus and D for disease; and 19 stands for the year 2019.
  • American lawyer Dan Harris is publishing pretty bleak (and inaccurate) opinions about the difficulties facing US companies in China through his article “The Cornoavirus is Wreaking Havoc on Supply Chains“. Harris is outspoken and his firm is based in Seattle, not China. If your business needs solutions, not a list of problems, contact us at china@dezshira.com and we’ll help sort out any supply chain issues and clarifications – we have 300 staff and 12 offices across mainland China, and our offices are open for business.
  • Chinese media reports that two senior officials in Hubei Province – party secretary of the Health Commission of Hubei Province, Zhang Jin and the director of the Hubei Provincial Health Commission, Liu Yingzi – have been fired.
  • The New York Times reports that thousands of people are being quarantined in the city of Tianjin after a cluster of new coronavirus cases were linked to a department store in the Baodi district; about a third of the 102 new coronavirus patients in Tianjin were said to have shopped or worked there.
  • Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam asks citizens to stay at home to contain spread of the virus as part of a strategy of “social distancing”. The Guardian reports that more than 100 residents in 35 households were evacuated from a high-rise apartment on Cheung Hong Estate, Tsing Yi, in the early hours of Tuesday, after two residents were confirmed to have contracted coronavirus. Health officials are trying to contact nine more households that need to be moved out from the complex, according to reports from the South China Morning Post.
  • February 11 – China’s coronavirus cases rose to 43,138, with 1,018 deaths. The total number of recovered patients are now 4,284, including 2,277 in Hubei Province. (Source: John Hopkins University real-time coronavirus tracker, see here.)
  • China’s central government announced a slew of new measures supporting the timely supply of consumer medical necessities, prioritizing the import-export of technology, reducing import tariffs consistent with the Phase One US trade deal, and opening up more financial channels of assistance for foreign trading businesses. See our article here.
  • Hong Kong confirmed its 42nd case, Monday night (February 10).
  • Good article from the Guardian science correspondent about the longer term potential of the n-CoV here.
  • Hong Kong reports its 38th case. A real time map of Hong Kong and the impact of the coronavirus can be seen here.
  • A China Briefing map showing all China Provinces and return to work dates is here.
  • China infections outside Hubei Province drop from 890 on February 3 to 444 on February 9, according to the Global Times, citing the National Health Commission.
  • February 10 – China reports 40,171 infections and 908 deaths as of Monday morning.
  • February 9 – There are now 37,554 cases and 813 fatalities; however, the WHO says the infection rate is “stabilizing”.
  • Reports from mainland China that local communities are failing to report potential cases due to the immediate quarantine inconveniences incurred. Whistleblowers face being ostracized.
  • Travelers from China who break Hong Kong quarantine laws face 6 months jail.
  • Fatality patterns suggest N-CoV is more transmissible with colder climatic conditions and is more harmful to patients with long term smoking habits. China is the world’s largest tobacco market with 2.4 trillion cigarettes consumed annually, with middle-aged males being the largest consumer group. This group also has a disproportionate number of N-CoV infections and fatalities. Wuhan also suffers from high air pollution. A January 2020 summary is here and a real-time Wuhan air quality tracker is here. This suggests that the likelihood of acquiring n-CoV increases given specific climatic, local public health, and patient behavior conditions.
  • The Chinese government has issued new regulations to severely punish people who disrupt epidemic control work. This includes employers forcing employees to work before official notices of factory and other employment resumption. Those who violate the rules are subject to speedy arrests and immediate jail sentences.
  • The n-CoV virus is 99 percent similar to that found in Pangolins, a rare and protected species in China related to anteaters, yet one that is sought-after among certain gourmets. Pangolins are not farmed and can only be caught in the wild.
  • February 8 – China infections overnight (Friday) reach 34,546 cases and 722 deaths, including an American. Fatality rate has slowed for second day. Non-China confirmed infections are now 320 in 27 other countries and two deaths.
  • New coronavirus advisory for Russian businesses in China here.
  • Singapore has raised Code Orange for the n-CoV outbreak, the second highest. For updates on ASEAN and Asia by country, travel restrictions in place and business advisories please click here.
  • February 7 – confirmed cases of infection in China now 31,161; death toll is 636 in China, 1 in Hong Kong, and 1 in the Philippines. Total global infections pass 31,441 – with more than 280 cases reported in 28 countries.
  • Chris Devonshire-Ellis on the recent decisions by the UK, US and other governments concerning their attitude to China and introducing slight suspensions and travel bans: “Elected officials rarely engage in Regulatory Impact Assessment in a meaningful way when faced with public health problems. Permitting travel has a cost and benefit. So does restricting it. Epidemiologists and economists can come up with such assessments. Politicians are much keener to be seen as decisive in the face of uncertainty, and cost their economy billions, than be confronted with an angry widow on the hustings. In transition or developing economies, those forgone billions could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives via public health programs & hospital services, for endemic diseases other than coronavirus. On the other hand, epidemics in developing and transition economies can be harder to rein in. There is no transparency in government decision making, just “our officials advise us, and out of an abundance of caution we have decided…..'”
  • Global total now 31,368 cases (China 31,102), 638 deaths (629 China), with 4,833 new cases overnight (Thursday, February 6).
  • We are hearing accounts of travelers in some ASEAN countries being denied entry if they possess any China visa history in their passport. While this may not be official policy, it appears to be implemented at certain border crossings in more remote areas. Intra-Asian travel may best be arranged through main exit-entry points.
  • China’s national health commission said that, as of midnight yesterday (Wednesday), there were 28,018 confirmed cases throughout the country – a rise of 3,694 and the biggest 24-hour rise, and 24,702 suspected cases and 563 deaths.
    WHO has asked for US$675 million from member countries to fight the outbreak.
  • Chris Devonshire-Ellis states “There is a contradiction between the stated coronavirus statistics and the behavior of certain national governments. This means one of two things: there is either an over-reaction concerning the severity of the outbreak, or actual numbers are being under-reported and this news is being suppressed by more than just the Chinese. The WHO needs to up its game and get better involved in its communications with the global public over what is going on.”
  • Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific is asking 27,000 employees to take up to three weeks of unpaid leave between March and June.
  • All arrivals from mainland China to Hong Kong to be immediately quarantined.
  • China has reported an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu in Hunan province, which lies on the southern border of Hubei province, the epicenter of the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Local authorities have culled 17,828 poultry after the outbreak. No  human cases of the H5N1 virus have been reported.
  • Useful John Hopkins University real-time coronavirus tracker here.
  • South Korea’s Hyundai Auto becomes first major Asian manufacturer to suspend production, says cannot obtain supply chain parts from China.
  • American Airlines and United Airlines suspend flights to Hong Kong until February 20.
  • As of February 5 – 24,505 cases confirmed, 24,292 being in mainland China; 490 deaths.
  • Unverified Wuhan medic says that coronavirus infection figures are inaccurate as patients who die prior to be tested are not considered as cases. Estimates real cases as being nearer 90,000 in Wuhan alone.
  • Coronavirus mortality rate is currently 2.1 percent, consistent with normal influenza.
  • UK issues advisory for its nationals to leave China on basis “it may become harder to access departure options over the coming weeks”.
  • Our ASEAN Briefing Coronavirus Update notes the first cases of cross-border infections in Asia between Malaysia and Singapore, and Thailand and South Korea. Daily updates concerning the situation in ASEAN and other Asian countries here.
  • Hong Kong has reported its first coronavirus death.
  • Article about the Applicability of Force Majeure as concerns the coronavirus in China affecting contractual obligations and the legal implications and procedures to follow by Vivian Mao of Dezan Shira & Associates here.
  • The coronavirus has now infected 20,629 and caused 427 deaths globally, with 20,483 infections reported in China as of Tuesday morning. This is an 18 percent overnight rise, a lower rate than a week ago when infections were spreading at 29 percent.
  • Hong Kong government closes 10 of 13 border crossings with mainland China; further reduces mainland flights.
  • The People’s Bank of China has stated it will provide support for enterprises affected by the coronavirus by reducing the interest rate on loans, increasing trust loans and medium- and long-term loans. It will also allocate 300 billion yuan (US$43.24 billion) in special refinancing loans for important national banks and some local banks from Hubei province and other key provinces.
  • Answers to frequently asked China HR questions regarding handling the coronavirus and extended holiday issues in China by Dezan Shira & Associates China HR and Arbitration in-house counsel Allan Xu here.
  • According to The Guardian, the highest confirmed cases outside China, Hong Kong, and Macau are – Japan (20 people), Thailand (19), Singapore (18), South Korea (15), Australia (12), and the US, which has confirmed its eleventh case overnight.
  • February 3 – 17,459 confirmed cases globally. The death toll is 362 and 489 patients have recovered.
  • China’s Foreign Ministry has requested ‘urgent’ assistance in the provision of protective medical items, such as masks, goggles and suits.
  • Lunar New Year Holiday extensions update: 24 provinces and cities in China have announced a further extension of the current Lunar New Year holiday. These are – Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Shanxi, Suzhou, Xi’an, Yunnan, and Zhejiang; all have stated that non-essential businesses need not re-commence their operations until next Monday, February 10.
    Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, has stated that the holiday will last until at least February 14.
    These regions accounted for almost 69 percent of China’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019.
    In addition to this, Beijing has said companies should let employees work from home until February 9 (with the exception of those working for public utilities and companies providing daily essentials) while Tianjin has urged schools and companies to not resume operations until further notice (again with the exception of those working for public utilities, daily necessities or those involved in the prevention and control of the outbreak).
  • The new hospital in Wuhan to treat coronavirus patients is set to open; a 1,000-bed hospital, it was built in a span of just 10 days. A second hospital, at a capacity of 1,500 beds is also under construction in the city.
  • Official data released Monday show China’s industrial profits declined 3.3 percent, year on year, to RMB 6.2 trillion (US$898 billion) in 2019. It was the first full-year decline since 2015 when profits fell 2.3 percent and can be attributed to the US-China trade war.
    China’s factory activity expanded at its slowest pace in five months according to January PMI data from Caixin. However, the data does not reflect the early impact of the public health crises caused by coronavirus outbreak. The Caixin data is considered ‘normal’ at this time of year. However, analysts expect “a big plunge” in February PMI numbers – to a range between 40 and 45 – due to the virus outbreak. China’s non-manufacturing PMI rose from 53.5 in December to 54.1 in January, showing expansion.
  • Chinese singers and actors Jackie Chan, Xiao Zhan, and Tong Liya sing “Believe Love Will Triumph” to call for people to stand together and stay strong during the fight against the coronavirus.
  • Shanghai stock market tanks by 8.7 percent, China commodities trading exchange suspended. Hong Kong market slightly up amid hopes of early recovery and medium term views. China’s yuan hits lowest rate against US dollar since August.
  • Possible post coronavirus economic growth compared with China’s historical performance after the Asian Financial Crisis and SARS by Chris Devonshire-Ellis here.
  • China’s financial regulators have prepared an emergency package, including an RMB 1.2 trillion (US$173 billion) boost of liquidity, to support companies and markets as they brace for a sharp stock sell-off on Monday in response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, according the Financial Times.
  • Unnecessarily sensationalist viewpoints from the China Law Blog “Leave China NOW!,” which is both a bit late as many airlines have banned flights, and somewhat disrespectful, calling foreigners staying as wanting to be “more macho than the next guy” together with the Washington Post, who bring political US-China rivalry into the viral outbreak by calling it “A Communist Coronavirus” – both perspectives rather unnecessary and unhelpful at this time.
  • Interesting read from The Diplomat entitled “The Geopolitical Consequences of the Coronavirus Outbreak”.
  • Coronavirus may spread through digestive system, researchers from the Renminbi Hospital of Wuhan University and the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Science report. Xinhua reports that studies after studying patient stool samples and rectal swabs show that many coronavirus patients suffered only from diarrhea – instead of classic viral symptoms like fever.
  • Professor David Hui, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, one of the world’s leading virologists and adviser to the WHO, states that “One in four cases of the Novel Coranaviurus are severe…..the virus is still evolving.”
  • ASEAN and other Asian updates here.
  • Chinese military being deployed in China to assist with medical supplies and supply logistics.
  • February 2 – 2,590 new Saturday overnight confirmed infections, bringing the total to 14,380. According to a study published on Saturday by scientists from the University of Hong Kong, the virus may have infected as many as 75,815 people in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
  • The Guardian reports China is exempting US imports from the retaliatory tariffs introduced in the trade war. China will instead “implement more preferential import tariff measures from January to March 2020, to step up support for prevention and control of the [ongoing] epidemic.” Rules on tariff exemptions can be expected to be relaxed on disinfectants, protective supplies, and emergency vehicles.
  • American Airlines suspends flights to China.
  • US issues travel ban on all foreign nationals arriving in the country who have visited China in the past 14 days – will not permit entry. Returning US citizens to be quarantined for two weeks.
  • Australia has issued a travel ban on non-Australian citizens arriving from China, Qantas suspends China flights until March 29.
  • Air New Zealand suspends flights to Shanghai until March 29.
  • UK withdrawing staff from China Embassies.
  • February 1 – China confirms 11,791 cases of infection; death toll reaches 259. Hubei Province remains the hardest hit, reporting 45 new fatalities according to The Guardian.
  • All direct flights to China from Russia halted from 9 pm GMT on Friday, except the national airline, Aeroflot.
  • Russia has confirmed two cases; both Chinese citizens, they have been isolated.
  • Associated Press reports that more than 9,800 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed as of January 31, evening. 9,692 cases in mainland China, 12 cases in Hong Kong, and 5 in Macao.
  • China extends the deadline for tax filing for January 2020, see here.
  • Britain confirms first two cases.
  • Dezan Shira & Associates’ Chris Devonshire-Ellis on infection trends, logistics and supply chain issues, the impact on China business cash flow projections, and the need to keep your China staff motivated. Please see here.
  • WHO declares global emergency on January 30 as 9,320 confirmed cases and death toll hits 213.
  • Italy suspends flights to China.
  • Air France suspends flights to China, sixth infection confirmed in France is a doctor treating patients.
  • Self-disinfecting ward, medicine and food providing robots being trialed in hospitals in Guangdong.
  • China arranging charter flights to bring stranded Chinese travelers overseas back home.
  • Russia stops issuance of electronic visas to all Chinese nationals, to completely close border with China from midnight tonight, January 30, 2020.
  • Handling China HR issues arising from the extended Lunar New Year, and related issues. Advisory from Dezan Shira & Associates here.
  • Emergency meeting of WHO viral experts being held today. WHO says, “The whole world must be on alert to deal with the spread of coronavirus”.
  • Leading virologist in Thailand says vaccine could take a year to develop.
  • Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announces that “anyone found not effectively carrying out President Xi’s instructions in the fight against the virus or misappropriate rescue funds and materials will be punished”.
  • Ikea, the Swedish furniture giant, is temporarily closing all 30 of its stores in China.
  • The Guardian reports that Air Canada is suspending all flights to Beijing and Shanghai from January 30 to February 29. The last flights from the two cities back to Canada will take off on January 30.
  • People’s Daily report that China will resume production of face masks on February 3 (first working day after the national lunar new year holiday extension), and produce 180 million masks per day by the end of February.
  • Jiangxi Province, Shandong Province, and Anhui Province are delaying resumption of work for non-essential enterprises to February 9. Hubei Province announced that enterprises in the province will be closed till February 13.
  • The WHO will meet Thursday, January 30, to make a decision on whether the coronavirus constitutes a global health emergency. Infections have now been confirmed in at least 16 other countries.
  • 7,711 confirmed cases reported by the BBC as of January 29, infections spread to every region in mainland China with a confirmed case reported in Tibet. Death toll has reached 170; The Guardian reports that 162 of the deaths are in Hubei province, where the outbreak originated.
  • WHO estimates mortality rate at 2 percent, less than 10 percent attributed to SARS, but warns the coronavirus could spread globally.
  • UAE confirms four cases in Middle East.
  • British evacuees face two weeks quarantine on UK military base upon arrival back to Britain.
  • Suspected cases in Africa yet to be confirmed.
  • China National Health Commission states “Infections will peak in ten days”.
  • Operating Your China Business Remotely – technical advisory from Dezan Shira & Associates.
  • Washington has advised US airlines they are considering the suspension of all US-China flights.
  • Australian researchers have recreated the novel coronavirus in a laboratory, hastening the development of a vaccine.
  • British Airways has suspended all flights to mainland China. Several countries begin evacuation of their citizens from China. Australia to quarantine evacuees on Christmas Island.
  • Chongqing municipality announced Tuesday night that non-essential enterprises in the administrative area will remain closed till February 9.
  • The number of cases confirmed has risen to 5,974 as of January 29; the death toll reached 132.
  • Guangdong Province issues mandatory order for citizens to wear face-masks in public. Offenders can be arrested and removed from public areas.
  • For our business advisory update about the coronavirus in India from Dezan Shira & Associates local offices, please click here.
  • For our business advisory update about the coronavirus in Vietnam from Dezan Shira & Associates local offices, please click here.
  • For our business advisory update and planning for remote administration in China, please click here.
  • Kazakhstan has suspended visa on arrivals for passengers arriving from China and requires Chinese nationals to have medical certificates certifying fitness prior to entry.
  • Hong Kong has eight confirmed cases. It has announced suspension of all ferries and rail services from mainland China from this Thursday and has cut by 50 percent all inbound China flights.
  • For the latest updates on the coronavirus and ASEAN, please click here.
  • The Philippines has cancelled all visa on arrival facilities from China; other visas issued in China remain valid.
  • Vaccine will not be ready until mid-March, Russia has closed its Far East border with China. Advisory for Russian businesses in China here.
  • WHO expresses ‘confidence’ China can contain the spread of the virus. Indications are infections will peak in the next seven days.
  • China reports 4,500 cases with 1,000 in serious condition – a rise of 45 percent. The death toll has risen to 106.
  • The new coronavirus appears to have an incubation period varying from three to seven days and up to two weeks but can spread before symptoms show.
  • Chinese New Year Holidays extended until February 2 to prevent mass movement of citizens. Shanghai, Suzhou, Guangdong Province, Zhejiang Province, Jiangsu Province, and Yunnan Province extended until February 9. Other provinces and cities likely to extend this further; China Briefing will provide updates.
  • Chinese staff may not be able to return to work immediately.
  • Serious interruptions and cancellations of transport reported across China, expect this to continue for the next two weeks.
  • Mongolia has closed its border with China.
  • Hong Kong is temporarily banning Hubei residents from entering.

The novel coronavirus that has leapt to prominence in the past few weeks is slowly becoming better understood as doctors and virologists start to identify its characteristics.

On January 27, China’s National Health Commission stated that “based on current epidemiological investigations, the incubation period is generally 3-7 days, with the longest no more than 14 days”.

While there are some concerning signs – a non-symptomatic incubation period making immediate diagnosis difficult – it should also be remembered that this is the annual flu season in China, and thus far, the virus appears to be survivable among the young and healthy. Most colds or coughs will turn out to be seasonal, ordinary bugs.

However, the mortality rate of the coronavirus appears to be far higher than is normal; the method of transmission is mainly through respiratory droplets and China’s health minister Ma Xiaowei has stated that people can spread it before showing symptoms. Until the situation can be brought under control, the virus will affect your business in China.

At Dezan Shira & Associates, we have several hundred staff on the ground, just as many other foreign-invested businesses do. We also worked through the SARS experience back in 2002, giving out advice and bulletins to concerned readers in China and beyond.

This article will be updated as the situation unfolds. For updates on government imposed restrictions in China, please refer to this article: Latest Emergency Measures Announced by PRC Government.

 

Impact upon businesses in China 

Human resources

The obvious, immediate impact is that some staff will not be able to return to work on the intended date – this coming Friday, January 31. Although this week is still officially a national holiday, it is recommended that senior management in China take a headcount and establish exactly where staff are and are in direct communication with them. The extension of the national holidays to Monday February 2 should be treated as annual leave and recorded by HR as such.

However, our opinion is that the February 2 return to work may be further extended, possibly until February 9 or even later, as the virus appears to have a two-week incubation period. This means that offices and factories should prepare to be understaffed until that time. It should also be noted that even if staff are able to return to work next Monday, transport services can be expected to be severely disrupted, and other services, such as delivery canteens, cleaning, and so on may also be curtailed. For offices, this means staff may be able to work from home. Factories will likely experience down time.

To action: Conduct an immediate headcount to ascertain where staff are and establish direct communications with them. When possible, arrange for staff to work from home.

Chinese labor law as concerns staff illness

Should staff become ill, employers must ensure their employees can receive their paid statutory medical leave. If an employee needs to take time off work due to an illness and the employee is eligible for statutory medical leave under the law, the employer must provide the leave in accordance with the national and local law, and the employee’s employment contract. The minimum pay standard varies across China but is typically about 80 percent of the total. However, note that if your employee handbook provides for a company medical leave program more generous than the applicable law, you must follow your own internal rules and regulations.

How exposed are you?

It is important to understand the potential impact an enforced slowdown could have on your business. This will vary from sector to sector; however, being aware if your major customers are also under stress is a prerequisite, and especially if your total sales exposure is to companies in China or dependent upon China-based suppliers. Additionally, if your China customer base is exposed, you are likely to face a sales downturn. In our business opinion, China Q1 sales figures are going to be affected, and it may be difficult for businesses elsewhere to obtain fulfillment on orders originating from China.

To action: Conduct an inventory of planned shipments from China and establish whether or not these could be impacted. Open communications channels with suppliers to discuss delivery problems and be prepared to re-source from alternatives elsewhere. China sales will be hit in numerous sectors, so examine your business plan, budgets, and cashflow to be prepared for a hit.

Receivables

There is simply no need for receivables to be beyond 90 days. Now is the time to examine sales contracts and credit terms already given, and to see what can be done to bring these under better credit control. 60 days is reasonable, 45 days even better. Remember if your customer goes bankrupt while in possession of your goods, it is going to be a devil of a job involving court procedures to get them back. It is far better to manage your receivables before goods shipped become a potential asset in somebody else’s insolvent warehouse.

To action: Examine cashflow and attack your receivables. The coronavirus should not become an excuse to delay payments due to you.

Stock take

It is a good idea when tough times lie ahead to examine the exact status of your stock. Is your stock secure? An empty or undermanned warehouse can be tempting. Do the inventory’s contents really add up according to the balance sheet? Now is a good time to conduct internal audits to ensure your inventory is where it should be.

Cash in hand

It is usually a good idea to maintain at least three to four months’ worth of total operating costs in China. This is especially true when times are tough, as contingency financing is more likely to be called upon at short notice. Your China operations may require a cash injection to help them overcome what may be a difficult Q1. If, on the other hand, you are fortunate to have excess cash in China, now may be a good time to repatriate it.

Preparing to downsize 

Reducing head count is one effective way to cut costs in China should your bottom line come under strain. Fortunately, the overall behavior of Chinese staff is conducive to this. As we enter the new year with many contracts coming up for renewal, options include non-renewal, as well as offering deliberately low or no salary increases to non-essential staff. This does need to be conducted in line with China’s fairly strict employment laws, but that does not mean a managed staff reduction plan cannot be put into operation. Downsizing a China business by laying off staff is one way to better manage expenses when the going gets tough. Seek assistance with China’s employment laws if you intend to conduct staff layoffs.

Summary 

Now is an ideal time to conduct a health check on your business as it is impacted by China. Businesses in China should be prepared to revisit their 2020 budgets and downgrade their Q1 sales forecasts if dependent upon sales in China.

Global businesses should 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 Q2 or Q3 bounce back is also entirely feasible – and it makes sense to bear in mind the need to cater for that eventuality as well.

Meanwhile, for advice or medical and regulatory updates as issued by the Chinese government, 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 fa