Learning from China During Covid-19 Pandemic EP.1: Chinese Life on Coronavirus Lockdown

EP  1 

From the Wuhan, China Covid-19 pandemic, which was quickly spreading, and the Chinese government decided to lock down the whole city and surrounding cities in Hubei province, which was the center of the virus outbreak for over 2 months. As China is getting better these days, they are the first encounter, solver, and has more experience than the others, so what have we learned from them? Let’s find out from the Chinese-business experts, K.Manop Sangiambut, Executive Vice President for Chinese business at SCB and K.Thanamon Sutheerapak, Business relation manager at SCB (Shanghai branch).

What happened in China before the lockdown?

China reported the cluster of cases of pneumonia in December 2019 where it was not that panic at that time until they declared the lockdown around the end of January which was nearly the Chinese New Year. There were only a small number of deaths reported but K.Manop told us that from the previous Chinese experience with The SARS epidemic, they decided to assert strict and immediate measures and a lockdown. The government announced canceling all public transportations in and out of Wuhan where over ten million citizens live and also other cities in Hubei province. Although outside of Hubei was not officially closed in a practical way, it does. the entire Hubei province now came under a city-by-city quarantine. Furthermore, stay-at-home restrictions and duration are declared, and building access identification is needed to be proofed before entering any residence.        

K.Manop has been working in Chinese business for over 16 years and became the person who started the Chinese SCB business. He told us that Covid-19 China’s lockdown was not what we thought it could happen because it is hard to predict the effect of 1.4 billion Chinese citizens is staying home. However, the WHO forecast that the Chinese lockdown would help slow the spreading around 1 month and give some time for other country's preparation. This is the important thing that every country leader needs to act immediately to prepare, respond, and recover.

How do people change during the lockdown?

As K.Thanamon has worked at SCB, Shanghai branch for 5 - 6 months, she told us that there was a rumor spreading before the Chinese new year, and then it was getting wider after the festival. She was living in Shanghai at that time and it was one of the places that had implemented a temperature measurement everywhere. It was a bit nervous at first but after watching the news, she started to prepare herself for any situation and understand these 3 important practical ways as following,

1. The Chinese government has implemented the stay-at-home restrictions to help control the number of Covid-19 cases.

2. The medical support to recover patients as soon as possible. Also, they decided to immediately start building new hospitals in Wuhan to admit COVID-19 patients. More than 40,000 healthcare workers were deployed, and medical resources were mobilized from across the country to support and study to improve immunity by herbs. Furthermore, the announcement of emergency ambulances would take any sick people and take good care to ensure that if anything happens, the government will take care of them, so they want to collaborate with the government and stay home.

3. Is there any shortage of consumable products? It is normal in China that they tend to not use cash anymore or almost become a completely cashless society. For daily life such as grocery shopping or any flesh, they can order, pay online, and soon the product will be delivered to their doors. This makes Chinese people did not feel too inconvenient and when any crisis happens, everyone wants to collaborate with each other. K.Thanamon told us that all of these things make China a great country and can easily go through any crisis.

Big Data and Online platform Vs Covid-19 pandemic

China is a cashless society so every financial transaction is on a mobile application which helps China overcome this Covid-19 crisis. In the past, China had developed many technologies including Big Data which have played a big role in everyone's daily life. Chinese applications are designed to cover all daily essentials via QR code. For example, Alipay, WeChat, or UnionPay application payment, and we can track the risk of our activity at each Covid-19 spreading area such as is there an outbreak in the area that we bought an airline or train ticket. This information is related to each other so the Chinese government has collaborated with the private sectors to develop the Health Code function based on these data which contributes to tracking and decreasing the infection risk.       

Health Code generates a green (safe), yellow (outside travel), or red (risk and no-quarantined outside travel). There is a Health Code checking at every place and will let only the green code enter. From this point, K.Manop told us that QR code is the function in every application and luckily China has developed many technologies with Big Data and during the Covid-19 period, they have applied them effectively to their people's daily life.

What is the rising business during Covid-19 pandemic?

From his expertise in Chinese business, K.Manop thought that the fastest growing industry is the online platform business such as the Online society platform which shows the increasing number significantly. There were only 2 big companies which are the first-ranking Tencent and Alibaba as the second. Currently, ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, has become the second place instead of Alibaba, because of the rising number of users and usage-hours. The overall online society rating is boosting, also the e-commerce business which took place only 20% of a whole retail business but in this Covid-19 situation, it has expanded over 20% and will certainly reach 50%.  

For online study business and online tutor such as learning application, which is normally widely used, however, in this Covid-19 pandemic, the usage numbers have been dramatically increased. Also, Zoom, the online meeting program has been widely used in China although it is not the Chinese application, nonetheless, it is only a few applications that are allowed to be used in China.   

For online study business and online tutor such as learning application, which is normally widely used, however, in this Covid-19 pandemic, the usage numbers have been dramatically increased. Also, Zoom, the online meeting program has been widely used in China although it is not the Chinese application, nonetheless, it is only a few applications that is allowed to be used in China.   

K.Manop thought that online business had existed before the Covid-19 but no one was interested. Since the Covid-19 pandemic happened and everybody had to stay home and had more time to utilize these online applications such as the TikTok. We can say that the crisis made us see surrounding things clearer and accelerated the survival adjustment. For example, the elderly who tend to use cash but need to change and learn how to pay via an application.

The Covid-19 pandemic in China is both a crisis and an opportunity. Let’s see what we should learn after easing the lockdown in China from “Learning from China During Covid-19 Pandemic, EP.2: Chinese life after Coronavirus lockdown” Click -Here-


Reference: SCBTV, Learning from China, lived broadcast from Shanghai via Facebook SCB Thailand on May 5, 2020