As the world spends on rescuing coronaviruses, China holds back

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Even if China is strengthening its economy internally, it faces a lack of demand for its products abroad.

In physical stores overseas, “in the past few days, the number of orders canceled at the factory has been staggering,” said Sabrina Finlay, general manager of Otabo, a shoe company in Minneapolis that manufactures its products in China. Online sales in China have improved as the country rebounds, she added, but traffic to stores there has not yet fully returned.

Like France, China has worked to help companies continue to pay their employees. The latest measures, released last week, will help the public banking sector lend an additional $ 200 billion to businesses, especially smaller ones. Local governments have also issued $ 150 billion in bonds so far this year to pay contractors for construction of roads, bridges and other projects.

When Xibei, a chain of 386 restaurants specializing in roast lamb and other Chinese food from the northwest, warned publicly that there was not enough money to pay its 22,000 employees, the Chinese government and banking system went into action .

In two days, the government was discussing financial aid, said Jia Guolong, president of the company. Three days later, loan documents were signed for a $ 200 million, low-interest line of credit over three years with a state bank. Four days after that, Xibei paid its employees.

“The bank demanded that we use the money to pay salaries and food suppliers only,” Jia said in a telephone interview.

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