COVID-19

China’s industries resume production as government officials ease restrictions

Jennifer Pak Mar 30, 2020
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Chinese industrial workers return to the job. STR/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

China’s industries resume production as government officials ease restrictions

Jennifer Pak Mar 30, 2020
Chinese industrial workers return to the job. STR/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Nearly all of China’s major industrial companies have reportedly resumed production — Chinese officials put the number at over 95% of large enterprises, including in the hard-hit province of Hubei — after much of the country’s economy shut down to contain the COVID-19 virus. But back to work doesn’t mean back to normal.

Chinese officials say major enterprises in the country’s main industrial belt — the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong — are basically fully open, but a quarter of small- and medium-sized businesses in China are still shut down.

The biggest complaints from companies are travel restrictions and mandatory 14-day self-quarantines, which prevent some of their employees from doing their jobs.

Local Communist Party officials are under immense pressure to restart economic activity and contain the coronavirus — two things that don’t always go together.

Cars and people are back on the streets of Shanghai. The parks are open and simple stuff like going to the movies or visiting a tourist hotspot is gradually being allowed again. Over the weekend, however, officials ordered them to close to prevent the risk of new infection.

Chinese officials are still cautious about restarting the world’s second-largest economy.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s going on with extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

The latest: President Donald Trump signed an executive action directing $400 extra a week in unemployment benefits. But will that aid actually reach people? It’s still unclear. Trump directed federal agencies to send $300 dollars in weekly aid, taken from the federal disaster relief fund, and called on states to provide an additional $100. But states’ budgets are stretched thin as it is.

What’s the latest on evictions?

For millions of Americans, things are looking grim. Unemployment is high, and pandemic eviction moratoriums have expired in states across the country. And as many people already know, eviction is something that can haunt a person’s life for years. For instance, getting evicted can make it hard to rent again. And that can lead to spiraling poverty.

Which retailers are requiring that people wear masks when shopping? And how are they enforcing those rules?

Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, CVS, Home Depot, Costco — they all have policies that say shoppers are required to wear a mask. When an employee confronts a customer who refuses, the interaction can spin out of control, so many of these retailers are telling their workers to not enforce these mandates. But, just having them will actually get more people to wear masks.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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