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China Insights

SwedCham China Insights for the week of September 13 – 17, 2021

Top news of the week:

  • Outbreak appears in Fujian
    September 13, 2021

    For the third time this year, Chinese authorities are taking swift measures to try to stamp out a flare-up of the Delta variant. Fujian province has reported over 100 COVID-19 cases in just four days. Three cities of the South-eastern province, including the tourist-friendly Xiamen, have recorded local virus transmissions since September 10.

  • State Council greenlights “rustbelt” revival plan
    September 14, 2021

    On 13 September, China’s State Council agreed to the implementation plan for the comprehensive revitalization of Northeast China during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period. The State Council will require Inner Mongolia, Liaoning Province, Jilin Province and Heilongjiang Province to strengthen organizational leadership, improve working mechanisms, deepen the reform and opening up, enhance policy guarantees, optimize the business environment, promote the implementation of a bunch of key projects and major reform measures that will promote the overall revitalization of northeast China.

  • Central bank hopes to expand sustainable investment
    September 15, 2021

    A Chinese central bank official called for the expanded supply of green-labeled assets and investment targets and planning to channel more pension funds into sustainable investment fields. According to the official statements, monetary authorities aim to build standards and a policy framework for sustainable investment and promote prospective studies on climate-related financial risk management.

  • Healthcare reform remains a top priority
    September 16, 2021

    On 15 September, Premier Li Keqiang chaired the State Council executive meeting. He spoke about the need to improve the healthcare and health insurance systems. Li presented a long list of recommended policy initiatives to increase funding on both the medical R&D and hospital development challenge and the need to increase access to affordable insurance for China’s part time and gig-economy workers. Better quality healthcare is a core goal of the government to aid China’s rapidly aging population and Beijing’s move toward greater social equity through the “common prosperity” initiative.

  • China officially applies for the CPTPP
    September 17, 2021

    On 16 September, Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao submitted a letter to New Zealand’s minister for trade and export growth, Damien O’Connor, as China’s formal application f to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which is a free-trade pact currently including 11 countries. The two ministers also held a telephone meeting, to talk about follow-up work connected to China’s formal application.

Insight of the week:

For the third time this year, Chinese authorities are taking swift measures to try to stamp out a flare-up of the Delta variant. The highly transmissible strain of COVID-19 has already tested China’s zero tolerance virus policy twice, with outbreaks centered in Guangzhou in June and in Nanjing, and other cities, in late July through most of August. The overall swift lockdowns and rounds of mass testing was effective at containing and stopping the spread of the virus in these cases. Fujian province has reported over 100 COVID-19 cases in just four days, and by September 17 the total confirmed case has exceeded 260. Three cities of the South-eastern province, including the tourist-friendly Xiamen, have recorded local virus transmissions since September 10. The virus is reported to have “snuck in” to China after a man underwent the mandatory 14-day government quarantine, tested negative three times, and then carried the virus undetected for 10 days. The new outbreak has again brought momentum to officials’ vaccination drive. Currently, over 2.15 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered, meaning that around 69% of the population is fully vaccinated and as much as 78.5% of the population has received at least one dose. The vast majority of those doses came from two companies, Sinopharm and Sinovac, which both used the more traditional inactivated virus vaccine technology.  Studies published in May and June showing that mRNA vaccines are more effective against COVID and specifically the Delta variant have stirred controversy locally. Recently, however, mRNA vaccines have gathered more steam since it was announced that 4 domestically developed mRNA vaccines have are undergoing trials.

About Kreab

Founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1970, Kreab is a global strategic communications consultancy with offices in 25 countries, serving over 500 global clients. Kreab advises on communication issues of strategic importance in business, finance, and politics, helping clients solve complex communications challenges and achieve their strategic goals. The Kreab Beijing team is well known for its track record of helping clients manage and strengthen their reputation through services spanning corporate communications, financial communications, public affairs, and social media. Contact Kreab at kchina@kreab.com, follow Kreab on WeChat (ID: KreabChina), or visit Kreab’s website at https://www.kreab.com/beijing.