China's economy 'like medieval Europe' 3

China's economy 'like medieval Europe' 3

Traffic is slow, streets are quiet, factories are slow to start, causing the President of the European Chamber of Commerce to compare China to medieval Europe.

Jörg Wuttke, President of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, made such an analogy, especially when the world’s largest factory has not yet been able to restart.

Workers stuck in their hometown.

The outbreak of pneumonia and efforts to contain the disease have hampered the country’s economy.

Taikoo Li, one of the busiest business areas in Chengdu, China on February 13.

Trade hinders

Chinese authorities have locked down the central region of the country, around Wuhan.

Wu Lin, Director at an advertising company in Shanghai, returned to Wuhan to celebrate the New Year on January 21.

Tim Huxley, CEO of Mandarin Shipping, a Hong Kong freight company, said shipyards across the country are facing a labor shortage.

Besides the fear of illness, this country’s nearly 300 million migrant workers – nearly two-fifths of the workforce – have another reason to be reluctant to commute.

Even factories with enough workers have problems.

Strict regulations

Local managers are tightening many regulations to control the epidemic.

Most difficult, businesses cannot reopen without health plan approval from city officials.

Shenzhen issued new health and safety rules on Sunday.

The government of Shanghai, home to more than 20 million people and a wide range of businesses, said only 70% of factories were taking steps to resume production.

Production is slow

New data shows that China still has a long way to go before the epidemic is defeated.

Damage is still spreading.

The China Development Forum, the country’s leading gathering of business leaders and economists, said its annual conference, due to take place next month, had been postponed indefinitely.

Major business centers, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong and Shandong provinces, have reopened since the beginning of the week.

China's economy 'like medieval Europe'

Inside a closed Apple store in Beijing on February 9.

Daimler, the German automaker Mercedes, said it began ramping up production at its Chinese factories on Monday.

General Motors said it will reopen its first assembly plant in China on Saturday and will gradually open additional plants over the next two weeks, `based on local employees, safety readiness, chain readiness.`

It is unclear how China’s slowdown will affect the US.

American businesses have been trying to diversify away from China as President Trump’s trade war with Beijing rages on.

`If the Covid-19 crisis continues to affect production capacity in China,` he said, `it will eventually impact auto assembly plants in the US and Mexico.`

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