Macau’s neighbor has nearly 90% of the labor force back at work, according to official statistics. As of March 22, 838,200 people have resumed employment, or 87.78% of the total workforce in Zhuhai.
Companies generally appear not to be in bad shape, although it is hard to tell from state-run media. This could be because, unlike in Macau, Zhuhai has a way of easing cashflow burdens for firms almost immediately by refunding monthly payments on social security premiums. For instance, the city government announced that by March 9, about 45,000 enterprises had been given more than 200 million yuan in social security refunds for February. For January and February, this was only part of the “cashback” that local companies had received in tax and fee cuts, which totalled 2.917 billion yuan for more than 80,000 companies.
This is on top of the credit lifelines they were thrown. Preliminary data shows that Zhuhai’s banks handed out 22.622 billion yuan in loans during January and February, while lending by large non-bank corporates added another 13.796 billion yuan. Meanwhile, repayments that were postponed during the crisis, waived by these institutions, were worth 8.952 billion yuan, while another 750 million yuan of loan extensions were made.
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