TOKYO — Japanese media and experts have noted that people and logistics in China have begun to regain vitality, as the economy is showing signs of a speedy recovery from the temporary impact of COVID-19.
Previously, the Chinese government had kept economic activities including production and consumption to the minimum level necessary so as to curb the COVID-19 outbreak, said Kokichiro Mio, a researcher at Japan’s NLI Research Institute.
Now that the epidemic in China is dwindling, China is trying to normalize its economic activities, he said, noting that the Chinese economy is gradually getting out of a contraction.
If the flow of people and logistics returns to its previous level, the speed of economic recovery will be amazing, he said.
According to Nikkei’s report, about 80 percent of the Japanese companies surveyed said their factories in China have returned to normal production levels.
Kyodo News Agency recently reported that since the end of March, Toyota Motor Corporation’s four vehicle factories in China have all resumed normal operations, with their production capacity recovering to the levels they were before the Chinese New Year holiday.
In addition, global logistics also show the recovery momentum in China. According to Orbital Insight, an American satellite-data analysis company, Shanghai has seen a surge in the number of ships leaving its port since mid-March, while inland waterway shipping in cities like Chongqing has also shown growth.
Many Japanese companies are pinning their hopes on China to take the lead in global economic recovery, and are anticipating a recovery of domestic demand in the Chinese market.
Trendexpress, a Japanese firm that focuses on China’s consumer market research, used a variety of data to describe the characteristics of China’s “stay at home economy” to Japanese companies and assumed that people’s spending habits would change after the pandemic ends.
The company said although International Women’s Day, which has been dubbed the “queen’s day” by retailers in China, fell amid the outbreak of COVID-19 this year, sales of more than 20,000 brands participating in promotional retail events in China on the day doubled from the previous year, with both old and new brands experiencing a sales surge.
Takashi Kodama, head of the economic research department at the Daiwa Institute of Research Group, said progress in China’s economic recovery is worthy of attention.
If private consumption in China, which is less directly affected by the deterioration of the global economy, can recover quickly, it will give hope to other countries, as well as the global financial markets, he said.
The Chinese government and information technology companies have worked closely to combat COVID-19 with advanced technologies, offering an opportunity to enhance the country’s digital economy, said Jin Jianmin, a senior fellow at the Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has brought challenges to China’s economic development, but only with short-term impact on industries and markets, Jin said.