Domestic News

98.6% China’s major industrial firms in operation



AS of Saturday, 98.6 percent of China’s major industrial enterprises had resumed production, representing an increase of 15.5 percentage points from Feb. 23, said an official with the country’s industry and information ministry yesterday.

Enterprises in China’s major industrial provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong and Fujian, are basically fully back on stream, said Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology.

In Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak in China, 95 percent of the major industrial enterprises have resumed operation, and 70 percent of the employees have returned to work, said Xin.

Driven by some leading enterprises, a large number of small and micro-enterprises have accelerated the resumption of work and production with an operation rate of 76 percent, he added.

The reinstatement rate of employees has also improved. Over 90 percent of employees have returned to work in the steel and electronics industries, and 70 to 90 percent of those in the textile, automotive, machinery and light industries have resumed work.

The country continues to support enterprises affected by the outbreak. Xin said China’s 300-billion-yuan (US$42.27 billion) special relending program for enterprises amid the outbreak has provided over 200 billion yuan for over 5,000 enterprises.

Meanwhile, more than 200 billion yuan with a loan interest rate lower than 4.55 percent have been issued among the 500 billion yuan relending and rediscount quotas to help smaller banks increase support to SMEs.

China announced in February that it would waive the corporate social insurance worth 500 billion yuan. The country has also dedicated a 103 billion yuan fund in March to support people living in poverty.

Xin also said the overall productivity of the automotive industry has reached the same level as last year.

The operating rate of automotive enterprises has rebounded from 60 percent Feb. 19 to 97 percent. Also, 82 percent of employees have returned to work, increasing from 50 percent Feb. 19.

Xin, however, cautioned that the auto industry is still facing great difficulties caused by sluggish demand. “Even if the current resumption rate of enterprises is relatively high, due to insufficient market demand, companies’ inventory may increase. Later on, some enterprises may further reduce their productivity,” said he.