“If China fails to contain the virus in the first quarter, I expect a vast number of small businesses would go under,” Beijing Zhonghe Yingtai Management Consultant Co (北京中和應泰財顧) analyst Lu Changshun (呂長順) said. Support from China’s banking giants in response to the outbreak has so far been piecemeal, mostly earmarked for directly combating the virus. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC, 中國工商銀行), the nation’s largest lender, has offered relief to 14,000 small businesses, or about 5 percent of its small business clients. “We approve qualified small businesses’ loan applications as soon as they arrive,” the bank said. To put that into perspective, China’s small businesses typically face interest payments on about 36.9 trillion yuan of loans every quarter.
Source: Taipei Times February 23, 2020 15:56 UTC