China estimate of the day

“Only 30 percent of small and medium businesses nationwide have resumed work,” Shu Chaohui, an official at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told reporters Tuesday. “It’s a pretty severe situation.”

…A nationwide survey led in February by Peking University found half the country’s small businesses will run out of cash within three months, and 14 percent might not survive past mid-March. Unlike large state conglomerates or multinational companies that could weather the storm, China’s small businesses say they simply do not have cash reserves to continue paying wages and rent.

And while manufacturing giants that mass-produce gadgets such as Apple iPhones can rely on the government to charter buses and trains to shuttle migrant workers back to their factories, nearly 40 percent of smaller businesses say they cannot get their workers back to Chinese cities because of transportation bottlenecks and quarantine restrictions, according to the Peking University study.

Here is more from Gerry Shih.


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