While messages from the coronavirus are mixed, to put it mildly, the current economic crash course might only be over by April/May, in the most optimistic scenario. Numbers of infected people and deaths by COVID-19 still vary to much to support any scenario at this stage, while it is also unclear whether the rest of the world can contain the virus.
Footage from metro subways still show empty carriages, as the central government tries to encouraged migrant workers to return to their workplaces, local governments – including the big cities – advise returning migrants to put themselves in a social quarantine for two weeks to be sure they do not carry the virus. The dilemma is obvious: different government make different choices when it come to prevent major economic damage or keeping their cities save from the virus.
China is not yet one week back from lunar holidays, and the fallout of the coronavirus is not yet clear. We have seen major events being relocated, delayed or even cancelled, speakers being stuck inside or outside China, and potential audiences unable to move around. Meanwhile we are exploring an alternative option, that might help some event organizators: follow the lead from China, and get your speaker online.
Even when the virus might reduce its destructive path over the next two weeks, resuming events might be affected till the end of April, early May. Those are – with June – our most busy months in helping event organizers to get the right speakers in place, before the traditional summer break kicks in.
Not only high costs are stopping Chinese women from getting more children, as the government wants them to for offsetting the dramatic aging process of the country, writes journalist Zhang Lijia, author of Lotus, a novel, on prostitution in China, in the South China Morning Post. “The reality is far more complex. One important reason, in my view, is that women have changed. They don’t care to be only the reproductive tool of the family or the state,” she writes.
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.
China has announced the ban on micro beads – solid plastic particles of less than one millimeter – in cosmetics by the end of 2020, writes China lawyer Mark Schaub at the China Law Insight. “The clock is ticking for cosmetics companies – domestic and international alike. Alternative ingredients need to be sourced quickly,” says Mark Schaub.
Foreign media mostly focus on China’s crackdown on religion, but it’s approach has become much more nuanced, says journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, at the New York Times. Two truly global religions, Islam and Christianity, cause China’s leadership most trouble.
China’s women are no longer satisfied with the marriages they took in the past for granted, says Zhang Lijia, journalist and author of Lotus: A Novel on prostitution in China, in the South China Morning Post. “Although gradually easing, there’s still stigma attached to divorce,” she adds.