Working from Home: How China’s Companies Are Trying To Get Back to Business

Image result for tencent work from home

Tencent(WeChat) and Alibaba workers stay home working

Tencent, which is also based in Shenzhen, said its staff in mainland China were working from home on Monday, and will continue to do so for at least the next two weeks. The company’s office in Hong Kong, where there are at least 38 confirmed cases, is tentatively set to reopen next week.
“The health and safety of our employees is of the utmost importance to us,” a company spokesperson said. “Accordingly, Tencent will continue to monitor the situation closely and will revise these arrangements as necessary.”
And e-commerce giant Alibaba has asked employees to work from home for another week, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Over half of surveyed foreign firms in Shanghai resume production

More than half of foreign companies in Shanghai surveyed fully resumed production as the Chinese government ramped up efforts to fight the novel coronavirus and help enterprises resume normal operations, an industry association said.

The Shanghai Association of Foreign Investment found, based on a survey over 54 foreign enterprises in Shanghai, that over 30 percent of the surveyed enterprises partially resumed production while more than 10 percent had not reopened yet.

On Tuesday, Chinese health authorities confirmed 97 new deaths and 2,015 new cases infected by the novel coronavirus, officially named as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, bringing the death toll to 1,113 and the total confirmed cases to 44,653 on the Chinese mainland.

To stem the spread of the virus, many Chinese cities including Shanghai, home to nearly 50,000 foreign companies, resumed operations with caution by extending the Lunar New Year holiday and postponing the resumption of work until Feb. 10.

According to the survey, telecommuting has been widely implemented by foreign businesses to resume operations while reducing close person-to-person contact.

A total of 13 surveyed foreign enterprises including Denmark-based toy marker LEGO and German auto manufacturer BMW resumed production but had their employees work remotely, said Huang Feng, head of the SAFI.

Foreign companies partially resuming operations also applied more flexible work arrangements with frontline workers heading for their workplaces and other staff working remotely, according to the survey.

Economic Watch: China Carefully Returns to Work Amid the Anti-epidemic Battle

Policeman Wu Shengzao (1st L) patrols with his colleagues at the Daxing International Airport in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 1, 2020. (Photo by Peng Ziyang/Xinhua)

BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — Chinese authorities are carefully balancing efforts to control the novel coronavirus epidemic and minimize its impact on the economy as millions of people head back to work Monday after an extended holiday.

In a circular released over the weekend, the State Council, or China’s cabinet, urged efforts to protect workers from getting infected and meanwhile resume production as soon as possible.

Companies providing epidemic control supplies and services such as medical material and daily necessities are among the first groups to resume work and have already begun racing back to full capacity to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The virus was first detected in central China’s city of Wuhan in December. Easy to transmit from person to person, it has kept people indoors and led to a sharp increase in demand for protective equipment like masks and goggles.

About 73 percent of the country’s mask production capacity had been recovered by Friday, according to Chen Da, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner. For medical masks, the rate has gone up to 87 percent.

Trucks loading medical devices set out for Hubei Province, in Qinhuangdao, north China’s Hebei Province, Feb. 5, 2020. Two vehicles carrying ten medical devices donated by a medical system enterprise in Qinhuangdao set out to help hospitals in Xianning City of Hubei fight against novel coronavirus outbreak. (Xinhua/Yang Shiyao)

Courier companies are also resuming service Monday as they are essential to meet people’s daily needs and guarantee the delivery of resources for epidemic control.

Logistics companies are expected to restore over 40 percent of their normal handling capacity by mid-February and continue to increase the capacity according to the development of the epidemic outbreak, according to the State Post Bureau.

For other sectors, production is recommencing in a steady but more gradual manner as both authorities and entrepreneurs are cautious over the novel coronavirus epidemic which has killed 908 and infected more than 40,000 on the Chinese mainland by Sunday.

In Shanghai, the latest official survey showed that more than 80 percent of the local manufacturing companies are willing to resume work, of which about 70 percent have already done so.

Meanwhile, 80 percent of Shanghai’s software and information service enterprises have returned to work, and 70 percent of their employees have chosen to work from home using telecommuting and video teleconference services to avoid infection.

Wu Jinzhong, head of eyewear maker Roring Industries in China’s southeastern Fujian Province, said only half of his 900 employees would resume work Monday.

“We advised workers outside the province not to rush back, while local employees need to be investigated whether they have traveled out of town in the past two weeks,” he said.

Wu said he has also increased spending to prevent the disease, including providing larger workspaces and essential protection materials like face masks.

People make protective suits at the workshop of a company in Fuzhou, southeast China’s Fujian Province, Feb. 2, 2020. To help fight the outbreak of pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus, workers of many medical material companies rushed to work ahead of schedule. (Xinhua/Lin Shanchuan)

To support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in work resumption, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has pledged to help with the supply and transportation of raw materials as well as protective gear like masks and body temperature detectors.

Local governments are encouraged to reduce or waive taxes and administrative fees on certain SMEs, increase subsidies to corporate training programs and extend the payment deadline for their electricity and gas bills to back them in harsh times, said the MIIT.

Likewise, local governments are ordered to take measures to help foreign-funded companies resume production and operation in an orderly manner.

Particular support shall go to large foreign investment projects, according to the commerce ministry, which called for coordinated efforts to solve their difficulties and minimize the impacts of the epidemic.

Now with the country heading back to work, many are confident that the potential economic blow brought by the national production halt is expected to be only a short-term, one-off hit against China’s solid economic foundation.

The epidemic might disturb economic activities in the first quarter of this year, but the economy is likely to steady shortly after the epidemic is contained, as the unleashing of pent-up demands will make up for previous weak economic performance, said Pan Gongsheng, vice governor of China’s central bank.

China’s Coronavirus Has Revived Global Economic Fears

Wuhan, where the outbreak of the coronavirus started, is sometimes likened to Chicago for its role as an industrial hub.
(Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)
Clifford Krauss and Matt Phillips New York Times (New York, Jan 27,2020) Before a mysterious respiratory illness emerged in the center of China, spreading with lethal effect through the world’s most populous nation, concerns about the health of the global economy had been easing, replaced by a measure of optimism.

The United States and China had achieved a tenuous pause in a trade war that had damaged both sides. The specter of open hostilities between the United States and Iran had reverted to stalemate. Though Europe remained stagnant, Germany — the Continent’s largest economy — had escaped the threat of recession.

Now, the world is worrying anew.

An outbreak originating in China and reaching beyond its borders has summoned fresh fears, sending markets into a wealth-destroying tailspin. It has provoked alarm that the world economy may be in for another shock, offsetting the benefits of the trade truce and the geopolitical easing, and providing new reason for businesses and households to hunker down.

On Monday, investors dumped stocks on exchanges from Asia to Europe to North America. They entrusted their money to traditional safe havens, pushing up the value of the yen, the dollar and gold. They pushed down the price of oil over fears that weaker economies would spell less demand for fuel.
By late Monday, the virus had killed more than 100 people in China. More than 4,500 had been infected — mostly in mainland China, but also in Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, and as far away as Australia, Canada and the United States.

The emergence of the virus in China, whose government jails journalists and tightly controls information, left the world uncomfortably short of facts needed to assess the dangers.

“It’s the uncertainty of how the global economy is going to respond to the outbreak,” said Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec, a specialist bank in London. That will depend on the severity, the spread and the duration of the outbreak, he said, and “we don’t really know the answers to any of these questions.”

What was left to the imagination resonated as a reason for investors to unload anything less than a sure thing.

ChinaTopix, via Associated Press)

Stocks in Japan and Europe fell more than 2 percent. In New York, the S&P 500 was down 1.6 percent, with stocks of companies whose sales are dependent on China especially susceptible. Wynn Resorts, which operates casinos in the gambling haven of Macau, a special administrative region of China, dropped more than 8 percent.

The virus and its attendant unknowns conjured memories of another deadly illness that began in China, the 2002-3 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which killed nearly 800 people.

“In many ways, it looks similar,” said Nicholas R. Lardy, a China expert and senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “We are seeing fast increases in the number of cases. The hospitals are overwhelmed and are not even able to test people with symptoms. I’m expecting the cases to go way, way up.”

In the end, SARS significantly slowed the Chinese economy, dropping the annual growth rate to 9.1 percent in the second quarter of 2003 from 11.1 percent in the previous quarter, according to Oxford Economics, an independent research institute in London.

The episode is coinciding with the Lunar New Year, a major holiday in which hundreds of millions of Chinese journey to their hometowns to visit relatives.

With air, rail and road links in central China restricted as the government seeks to block the spread of the virus, hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses are likely to suffer.

Some economists assume that those effects will quickly dissipate, leading to a revival in the consumer economy within months. That is how events played out in 2003.

“Our baseline is that it will be a fairly big impact but relatively short-lived,” said Louis Kuijs, the Hong Kong-based head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics.

In the hopeful view, economic damage will be contained by the Chinese government’s aggressive response in effectively quarantining the outbreak’s center — Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, and much of the surrounding area in Hubei Province.

But Wuhan is a hub of industry, sometimes called the Chicago of China, intensifying the quarantine’s implications for the national economy.

“This is really unprecedented,” Mr. Lardy said. “The economic effects may be much larger than SARS. Wuhan is a major industrial city, and if you’re basically shutting it down, it’s going to have a major effect.

A factory in China producing medical supplies during the virus outbreak.
Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

Already, China’s government has extended the Lunar New Year holiday by three days, through Feb. 2, ensuring that migrant workers will not return to their factory jobs as soon as anticipated, almost certainly disrupting production. Suzhou, a major industrial city near Shanghai, has extended the holiday until at least Feb. 8.

Given that China’s economy is the source of roughly one-third of world economic growth, the slowdown could be felt widely.

Most directly, China’s neighbors would absorb the effects, especially those dependent on tourists from China — among them Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Over the weekend, China announced that it was barring overseas group tours by its citizens.

If China’s factories are hobbled by additional restrictions on transportation that limit factory production, that could become a global event. It could hit iron ore mines in Australia and India that feed raw materials into China’s smelters. It could limit sales of computer chips and glass panel displays made at plants in Malaysia and South Korea.

It could trim sales of factory machinery produced in Germany and auto parts made in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. It could even affect the purchases of additional American farm goods that China agreed to under the trade deal signed this month.

The shock is hitting just as China contends with its slowest pace of economic growth in decades, reviving fears that its reduced appetite for the goods and services of the world could jeopardize jobs on multiple shores.

“China is obviously slowing down in a structural way,” said Silvia Dall’Angelo, senior economist at Hermes Investment Management in London. “The global economy is clearly more shaky, with sluggish growth. It is clearly more vulnerable to shocks.”

The SARS outbreak prompted the government to stimulate the Chinese economy by directing surges of credit that financed huge infrastructure projects. But whatever damage China confronts this time, its willingness to respond will be limited by the government’s concerns about mounting public debt.

A device checking the temperatures of those entering a Bangkok mall. Asian countries reliant on tourism from China may be hard hit by disruptions to travel.
 Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

“They are much more constrained now,” said Mr. Lardy, the China expert. “I think people underestimate the conviction that the top leadership has, that they really want to reduce financial risk.”

But as global investors try to gauge the outlook, one element is the same as ever in China: Information is scarce. Trust in the authorities is minimal.

During the SARS outbreak, the government was slow to acknowledge the existence of the virus as local officials actively covered up cases, allowing the threat to multiply.

This time, the government has sought to project the sense that it is forthrightly reckoning with the crisis. President Xi Jinping has publicly acknowledged the threat while warning local officials not to hide reports of trouble.

But in the current moment of agitation, any perceived lack of information tends to weigh in as bad news.

“This is, of course, still a government system where transparency is not really held up as an important criterion,” Mr. Kuijs of Oxford Economics said. “This is still an overall system in which discretionary decisions by bureaucrats are driving everything instead of very clear rules.”

AlphaPay Notification

2020 CNY Suspend Settlement

Dear AlphaPay Merchants and Partners,

Please note that banks in Mainland China will suspend settlement from January 24 to January 30, 2020 due to the Chinese New Year Holiday. Transactions that take place during this period will be cleared on January 31, 2020.

Other AlphaPay services, including but not limited to payment and refund will NOT be affected by the suspension of settlement.

Thank you for your understanding and support. Feel free to contact AlphaPay if there is any questions please!

Yours sincerely,

AlphaPay Team

————————————————–

尊敬的AlphaPay商户及合作伙伴,

由于春节假期的影响,支付宝,微信和银联的中国合作银行将在2020年1月24日至2020年1月30日暂停结算,在此期间的支付宝,银联和微信支付款项将于2020年1月31号进行统一结算。其他AlphaPay服务如支付、退款等功能均不受影响。

感谢您的理解与支持。如有问题可以随时联系AlphaPay.

顺颂商祺

AlphaPay 天捷支付

Toll-Free: 1.855.937.7888
Email:admin@AlphaPay.com

WeChat Pay Increasing

AlphaPay Brings the Ecosystem to Canadian Merchants Working with Chinese’s Biggest Lifestyle Platform and Mobile Payment Brand WeChat

Vancouver, Canada, Jan 06, 2020 — The wide variety of functions available within the AlphaPay Ecosystem will help Canadian merchants to smoothly accelerate the digitization process in payment and marketing, in order to better serve Chinese tourists in Canada.



According to the latest release data from WeChat, in 2018, the monthly average transaction volume saw an increase of 500% year-on-year, while the total transaction value increased 400%. Meanwhile, the number of service providers witnessed a year-on-year increase 300%, and the number of merchants accepting WeChat Pay increased 700%.


WeChat Pay Increasing

Making a purchase is not only about payment. AlphaPay is looking closely into the all rounded solution experience, and covering more retail, F&B(Food and Beverage), and fashion, municipal services and many other aspects of daily life. The entire experience throughout the journey is important to conclude the transaction.


AlphaPay has successfully developed many case studies in offering solutions.


AlphaPay Lifecycle

At T&T supermarket, WeChat Pay user can make purchase and is entitled a further discount by paying with WeChat, or customer can purchase giftcards, join loyalty programs via AlphaPay App to ensure a smooth shopping experience.


About AlphaPay:

AlphaPay is a major influencer in the borderless payment technology space in Canada. As a forward-thinking FinTech company, AlphaPay has developed and distributed payment technology services to bridge the gap between North American businesses and 1.1 billion users of Alipay, WeChat Pay, and UnionPay through borderless payment technology. For more information: www.alphapay.com

Media Contact  

AlphaPay Inc

media@alphapay.com

Destination Canada

AlphayPay serves over 1.2 billion users together with Chinese Mobile Payment partners and is the preferred payment method of Chinese tourists

Through this strategic partnership, this collaboration is looking to integrate their respective systems with one another and offer the market a flexible, on-demand digital payment solution through which Chinese tourists can conveniently use during their visit to Canada.

With the system now in place, AlphaPay’s merchants are available to accept cross border payments for overseas customers . Chinese can simply complete their purchases by scanning the QR code available at AlphaPay-enabled merchant partners.

With AlphaPay’s more than 2,000 merchants across Canada, finding a store or service that accepts this integrated mobile payment should not be hard. Whether it is a transaction at a restaurant, in a retail store, a supermarket, a hotel, a car rental or entertainment. Retailers can truly benefit from AlphaPay’s merchants by its advanced payment and marketing solutions and reach out to 1.2 potential users.  

In 2019, statistically the nation welcomed over 600,000 Chinese tourists, and the number is expected to rise to over 1 million by 2020 and 3 million by 2025.


Destination Canada

(Photo: Destination Canada)


As the number of Chinese tourists to Canada continues to surge, and following its strategic road map, AlphaPay is foothold its collaboration with the Chinese leading fintech giants.

China’s Luxury Market

China’s Luxury Market To See Greater Demand This Year

China, Jan 03, 2020-The Chinese luxury market has gone through ups and downs last year but in 2020, greater things are in store, industry experts said, noting that demand for high-end products will continue to rise this year.


China's Luxury Market

According to China Daily, industry analysts predicted that the world’s second-largest economy will continue to lead the global luxury goods market as Chinese consumers increase their demand for items under the designer fashion sector.

The data was based on figures from the luxury market’s overall spending in 2018, which saw a seven percent hike from the previous year at $145.7 billion. According to data from Chinese luxury online retail firm Secoo Holding Ltd. and global consultancy Deloitte, the said amount accounts for 42 percent of the world’s overall luxury market spending.


China’s Luxury Market

Shoppers cross the road outside Causeway Bay shopping mall in Hong Kong, China, December 26, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)


Industry analysts further noted that online shoppers will most likely focus on the following products this year: beauty and skincare items, digital devices, men’s apparel, and men’s footwear.

Pre-loved products are also expected to have a bigger chunk of the overall luxury market due to lower prices in high-end goods. Affordability is one of the key aspects of the market that luxury brands are encouraged to look into as a means of further providing the demands of consumers in China.

Finally, 5G deployment in China is expected to help improve the luxury market as a whole both offline and offline. Better connection speeds will provide consumers with a better experience, industry experts pointed out, especially with the Chinese government’s push for 5G networks in the country.

The Global Footprint Of Ant Financial's Alipay

Alipay Profile, 2019 – International Acceptance Continues to Rise

December 17, 2019 11:09 AM Eastern Standard Time

DUBLIN—In China, Alipay has a market share of more than 50%


The Global Footprint Of Ant Financial's Alipay

Alipay to be accepted at more locations overseas by partnered with AlphaPay Canada


Moreover, Alipay is increasingly used by Chinese consumers when they travel abroad. To tap into this emerging market opportunity, AlphaPay, Canada based FinTech company, is one of the overseas payment acquirers working closely Alipay across Canada to grow its international acceptance.


About AlphaPay


AlphaPay is a major influencer in the borderless payment technology space in Canada. As a forward-thinking FinTech company, AlphaPay has developed and distributed payment technology services to bridge the gap between North American businesses and 1.1 billion users of Alipay, WeChat Pay, and UnionPay through borderless payment technology. For more information: www.alphapay.com

Alipay and WeChat Pay are well established

WeChat Pay has the second largest mobile payment share in China

WeChat Pay pursues an international expansion strategy

As a digital wallet service of China’s popular mobile messaging app WeChat, WeChat Pay is available to hundreds of millions of app users in this country. In addition, as the publication reveals, WeChat Pay has embarked on an international expansion strategy, primarily focusing on Chinese tourists travelling overseas. As of 2018, the service could already be used for QR-based mobile payments in close to 50 countries.

WeChat Pay is China’s number two in the mobile payments market

In China, WeChat Pay is the second most used mobile payment service, with a double-digit percentage share of the market, as of 2018. According to information cited by the researcher, the gap in Alipay and WeChat’s market share in terms of volume was at more than 10 percentage points, but when it comes to user penetration, WeChat Pay also achieved a wide base of more than two-thirds of mobile payment users.


Alipay and WeChat Pay are well established