China’ struggle against the coronavirus has been on the front pages worldwide on the past weeks. Western CEO’s of companies with operations in China have been calling for calm and try to convince their audiences all is well for those operations. The question is whether that is more than wishful thinking.

China has been into lunar festival mode over the past weeks and all offices and factories would have been closed anyway. Damage might have been obvious in the consumer industry as even outside Wuhan many inhabitants kept off the streets. But the major question is now, as the lunar festival holidays end, whether China’s massive work force returns to their workplaces.

The State Council has announced it will extend the lunar festival holidays till February 2, while more extensions are not excluded as more information on the Wuhan virus emerges. The activities of the China Speakers Bureau in China itself are limited, but we will also take the extension into account. Shanghai has announced an extension till February 9, according to a Facebook post by Rich Brubaker.

Now China is preparing for a new megacity, Jing-Jin-Ji, combining Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, the neighboring provincial capital Baoding is hoping to ride on the bandwagon too. Journalist Ian Johnson visited Baoding for the New York Times and looks at its chances.

Not only is the municipal government leaving the city center of Beijing, more activities are going to leave for a new urban corridor between Beijing and Tianjin, reports journalist Ian Johnson in the New York Times. Hospitals, markets and administrative offices follow too by moving to Hubei province.

Finally the government takes pollution serious, long after its citizens noted the dangers, concludes journalist Ian Johnson in ChinaFile, after a smog documentary was taken off the internet. But censors acted after 100 million Chinese watched the much-praised movie, that sparked off an unprecedented debate.