Over recent weeks, China has eased most of the initial restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak. The country is going back to work, reopening its factories and businesses, while providing a case that others can learn from. HSBC recently hosted a webinar featuring a panel of experts to discuss how businesses are responding to the new environment.
How are businesses in China emerging from Covid-19?
14 May 2020 Panel:
- Jane Sun, Group CEO, Trip.com
- Stuart Tait, Regional Head of Commercial Banking, Asia-Pacific, HSBC
- Frank Fang, Head of Commercial Banking, China, HSBC
- [Facilitator] Divya Gopalan, News Anchor, Al Jazeera
As China emerges from COVID-19, businesses are finding themselves in an environment very different from the one prior to the outbreak. How to adapt and what to prioritise in these new conditions are pressing strategic questions that will affect how companies position themselves for the future.
- Remaining flexible as behaviours continue to change, affecting not only what, but also where, how and when people consume.
- The use of technology to adapt to changes, and prepare for future work environments.
- Increasing supply chain resilience, with stock policies paired with a lack of supplier diversification hindering production as manufacturers come back online.
During the discussion our experts shared examples from businesses in China and lessons for other markets in the process of getting back to work.
We are doing everything we can to support our customers. Innovative ideas and strong efforts are needed to lead the recovery
Trip.com emphasised working closely with their partners (hotels and airlines) to offer unique travel incentives, creating dynamism in the industry. They are also prioritising internal training so that the next generation of leaders have valuable experience from this crisis. Commenting on her approach, Jane said, "We are doing everything we can to support our customers. Innovative ideas and strong efforts are needed to lead the recovery".
The adaptation of existing business models to respond to emerging market opportunities was a consistent theme among HSBC clients in China as they navigate the current conditions. Stuart highlighted that, "One of the key changes in consumer behaviour is purchasing online, at home and outside of normal business hours. The companies who can adapt to these changes will perform the best".
Frank highlighted that "China is 8-10 weeks ahead of the recovery cycle compared to other countries, providing a valuable reference for the rest of the world". For companies outside of China getting back to work and putting in place contingency plans to increase responsiveness will be key. Additionally, there should be an emphasis on technology adoption driven by the increases in demand for contactless services and electronic transactions.
China is 8-10 weeks ahead of the recovery cycle compared to other countries, providing a valuable reference for the rest of the world
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