More than half of China extends shutdown over virus

A man rides a bike though an almost empty Nanjing Road, usually a busy commercial street, in Shanghai, China, on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The majority of China’s growth hubs have delayed the resumption of business by at least a week as the country tries to control the spread of a new coronavirus that has killed more than 200 people.

As of midday Saturday, at least 19 provinces, municipalities and other regions in China have told businesses not to resume work before Feb. 10 at the earliest. That’s according to publicly available statements from the governments.

Last year, those parts of China accounted for roughly 80% of national GDP, and 90% of exports, according to CNBC calculations of data accessed through Wind Information. As a result, these delays in getting back to work could have a significant impact on the growth and international trade of what is now the world’s second-largest economy.

Morgan Stanley economists estimated earlier this week that if the Lunar New Year holiday was extended by a week nationwide, January and February industrial production could be hit by as much as 5 to 8 percentage points.

It’s unclear yet to what extent these virus-related disruptions will have to China’s full-year economic growth. The Chinese government has also mandated that provinces resume the production of medical resources needed to prevent and control the virus. In most regions, businesses involved with public utilities, supermarkets or other essential industries are to remain open.

The Lunar New Year holiday was initially set to run from Jan. 24 to Jan. 30, with work resuming on Jan. 31. Nationwide, the Chinese government has extended the holiday so that businesses would not reopen until Monday, Feb. 3.

These cities, provinces or municipalities have announced a delay to resumption of work:

Beijing: encourages companies to have employees work from home until Feb. 10

Hubei, where the disease is concentrated, has told businesses not to reopen until at least Feb. 14. However, officials said Friday that Hubei would further extend the holiday to an “appropriate extent,” according to state-owned newspaper People’s Daily. Hubei residents who work outside the province were also asked to stay put.

Tianjin: Businesses and schools are not to reopen until further notice.

Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shandong, Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi’an, Yunnan, Zhejiang have all said work is to resume no earlier than midnight on Feb. 9.

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