Starbucks sold its stake in its South-Korean joint venture, worth in total over US$2 billion. The best they can do, is reinvest their capital in expansion in China, says business analyst Shaun Rein to Reuters. “Using the sale of its South Korean operations will equip it with more cash that it can deploy to China,” Rein said.
The US failed to stamp out the coronavirus, unlike China, says Harry Broadman, a former senior US trade official to the Sydney Morning Herald. And since South Korea and New Zealand also dealt with COVID-19 efficiency, it is not China’s authoritarian regime that made the difference, he adds.
China has a lot of historical luggage it has trouble coming to terms with, says author and journalist Zhang Lijia. The Korean was, claimed by China as a victory, is one of major historical issues the country has to come to terms with, she writes in a comment at the South China Morning Post.
The plan to ban immigration by US President Donald Trump will be mostly hurt US tech companies who cannot recruit talents anymore, says business analyst Shaun Rein to the BBC. “Now, with the immigration ban, more top Chinese, Indian and other foreign talent will seek jobs in tech hubs globally like Shenzhen, Seoul and Bangalore rather than Silicon Valley,” Shaun Rein adds.
Last week we saw a resumption of economic activities in China, and hoped our speakers’ business would be up to steam before the summer, including a few months for event organizers to get their act together. But recent developments show that the coronavirus crisis might only be starting in the rest of the world, as European countries and the US have started to lockdown their economic activities to stop the spread of the virus. Together with gloomy assessments of the lackluster way those countries deal with the crisis, our first analysis might have been too optimistic.
China and South Korea might be starting to resume their economies, the rest of the world is getting further into lock-down mode. After Italy, the rest of Europe and the United States are only at the beginning of the corona virus pandemic. And for sure nobody in those countries is in de mood to prepare for a life after the current crisis.
At the China Speakers Bureau, we do start to look ahead, also as more events are cancelled and international flights still seem in a unstoppable free fall. But one thing is sure: even when timing is unclear, this crisis will be disappearing in the months to come, even when experts already predict a second wave of patients after the summer. In our line of business the average lead time between inquiries for speaker’ assignments and execution is on average three months, and we do not want to start for resumption of our business until the pandemic has officially stopped.
The China government is trying to push positive news in the way it handles the coronavirus crisis, but the economic fallout is only shaping up as the panic moves to other parts of the world. Airlines, shipping lines and other logistics and hospitality providers are maintaining the reduction on services, as demand is not yet picking up. Some logistic providers contemplate resuming services only in June, although they do not wish to confirm that less-favorable scenario.
Europe has become the latest victim of the coronavirus panic, and the number of patients rises, while numbers in the Americas are still low, but expected to go up too.
With all possible caveats: early signs do indicated the coronavirus is slowly retreating in China. That might reverse, as workers are slowly returning to work, and quarantine measure are partly revoked. Meanwhile, the rest of the world, notably South-Korean, Japan, Iran and Italy are fighting their own hot spots of the coronavirus and the fears of a global pandemic outbreak are all but over.
When you follow our social media feeds at Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you might notice that our China news – not related to the coronavirus – is growing since the weekend, and that is a good sign too. But still, we do not expect the event industry to pick up before May, and much might depend not only on China and the success of its quarantine measure, but also how the virus is developing in the rest of the world.
Foreign brands got into hot water when describing Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as independent countries. Business analyst Shaun Rein explains at the BBC it is not only the government fanning the flames but increasingly nationalistic consumers who boycott foreign brands stepping on political toes.