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More businesses cancel meetings in China over bird flu fears

Two tourists look at a poster showing how to avoid the H7N9 avian influenza virus, alongside a road in Beijing on April 24, 2013.

Morgan Stanley is moving its showcase of Asian hedge funds to New York after the event was cancelled in Shanghai last week due to concerns over bird flu, according to Bloomberg News.

There have been more than 30 reported cases of the Avian flu and about one-third of those infected have died.

Shaun Rein, with the China Market Research Group who lives in Shanghai, says it's becoming common for businessmen to cancel meetings in the area.

"I've had a lot of meeting that were canceled in Shanghai -- people decided to have them in Europe instead or just delay because of the fears," Rein says. "Nobody's really sure how the Avian flu is transmitted, so there are a lot of fears going on in China."

Rein says these fears are causing more and more businessmen -- both Chinese and expats -- to wonder if the cost of doing business is worth it.

"The China head of a Fortune 500 firm, [whose] firm is making about 30 percent of their overall revenue in China [is] thinking about leaving," says Rein. "He loves the business challenges, he loves the compensation, but it's really affecting the quality of life for his family."

Rein adds that wealthy Chinese businessmen are also buying homes stateside because of the same concerns.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.
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Enjoyed Ms. Kim's report this morning very much except that I was distracted by her reference to "businessmen" at many points in the coverage. PLEASE, even if most of them are still men in this or any story, could we stop using this antiquated terminology? Thanks.

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