China yesterday reported an uptick in new cases of COVID-19, boosted by more than 200 people testing positive for the disease in two prisons outside of Hubei Province, at the center of the outbreak.
As international authorities attempt to stop the outbreak in China from becoming a pandemic, finance leaders at the G20 meeting in Saudi Arabia this weekend are set to discuss risks to the global economy.
“COVID-19 anxiety has risen to a new level amid concerns of virus outbreaks in Beijing and outside of China,” National Australia Bank Ltd senior foreign-exchange strategist Rodrigo Catril said.
Japan and Singapore are on the brink of recession and South Korea yesterday said its exports to China slumped in the first 20 days of this month, with the outbreak upending global supply chains.
After several days of more encouraging trends in infections, the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship newspaper warned that it would be a mistake to think victory was in sight.
“If we give in to blind self-confidence, the epidemic could rebound and the virus exploit us when we are off guard,” the People’s Daily said.
As G20 finance ministers prepare to meet, the IMF said it was too early to tell what impact the virus would have on global growth.
“We are still hoping that the impact will be a V-shaped curve” with a sharp decline in China and sharp rebound after the containment of the virus, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said.
“But we are not excluding that it might turn to be a different scenario like a U curve where the impact is somewhat longer,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said that it is looking into more financial measures to support companies.
The government expects to submit its earliest vaccine for COVID-19 for clinical trials in late April, China’s Vice Science and Technology Minister Xu Nanping (徐南平) said.
Fears over the outbreak triggered violence in Ukraine, where residents of a town clashed with police, burned tires and hurled projectiles at a convoy of buses carrying evacuees from Hubei to a quarantine center.
Hundreds of helmeted police and an armored personnel carrier were sent to keep order.
Americans evacuated from China also faced discrimination.
Amy Deng, who underwent home quarantine with her daughter Daisy, 8, said that neighbors had called the police over concerns they would spread the disease.
“People were already panicked, then they made up this rumor and spread it, telling us not to even live in the community,” the 45-year-old Santa Rosa, California, acupuncturist said.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees
GOGOROS TO GO: The scooter maker’s CEO said that the electric vehicles ‘are the perfect complement to a program designed to stimulate the Taiwanese economy’ Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) yesterday announced a draw to encourage people to claim their Triple Stimulus Vouchers digitally. The prizes include movie tickets and 25 electric scooters donated by Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), Wang said. The Ministry of Economic Affairs said that it would hold a scooter draw every day for the next 10 days, beginning yesterday, after which there would be a draw every week for 15 weeks. The first winner was a Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合庫銀行) credit card user, the ministry said. The benefits of claiming the vouchers digitally extend beyond the draws, with many businesses offering special deals for