The coronavirus that suddenly appeared at the start of the year has caused no end of damage to lives, families and businesses. But as the virus spreads around the world, there are rays of hope emerging from the chaos.
The start of 2020 has been a challenging one for China. The discovery and spread of the novel coronavirus, now called COVID-19, has led to thousands of deaths and struck down many more with its flu-like symptoms.
Cities across China have been on lockdown in a bid to restrict the spread of the virus. Across the country, citizens have undergone self-imposed quarantine inside their homes. Flights in and out of the country have been heavily restricted, and domestic transportation is severely limited for both goods and people.
After the Chinese New Year holiday was extended, most factories were not operational, schools and universities were still closed, and office workers were mostly working from home.
The cost to the Chinese economy is predicted to be as much as 2% of GDP, but for many businesses in the UK and China, the price to pay could still be much higher.
Logistics and supply chain networks are severely limited, causing a knock-on effect around the world for importers and exports. Hardest hit are the travel and leisure sectors, and the luxury sector, as tourists, shoppers and diners all stay home.
Coronavirus shows us China has the capacity to bounce back from adversity
However, at the time of going to press, it looked like the number of new cases was decreasing, and many companies were starting to return to work as factories reopen.
“Coronavirus shows us China has the capacity to bounce back from adversity,” says CBBC’s Chief Executive, Matthew Rous. “Even If we see a reduction in an economic quarter, it won’t arrest China’s huge contribution to global GDP growth.”
In this special series of articles, we will look at how businesses can survive and thrive through this period of turmoil. We will explain the practical measures that businesses can adopt to respond to the outbreak, and help plan for the future. We will look at the latest government policies, legal rights for businesses, and human resource options. And finally, we will try to explain how this crisis might shape China’s future.