公司新闻     |      2020-04-07 12:03

In good times Gu Changshi's job is to persuade companies to invest in Lingang, a wind-swept free-trade zone on the edge of Shanghai, abutting the Pacific Ocean. But over the past two months, as China has battled covid-19, his job has been to ensure basic survival, both physical and corporate.


abut   英[əˈbʌt]  美[əˈbʌt]

vi. 邻接;毗邻;紧靠

vt. 邻接;毗邻;紧靠

n. (Abut)人名;(英、土)阿布特          

eg.The castles abut a natural forest.


First his agency requisitioned two hotels to quarantine anyone coming to Lingang from virus-hit regions. Then it started offering conditional cash grants to beleaguered companies located there. "There is no fixed limit to the subsidies," he says, his hands spreading wide.


quarantine 英[ˈkwɒrəntiːn]  美[ˈkwɔːrəntiːn]

n. 检疫隔离期;隔离;检疫;检疫区,隔离区

v. 对(动物或人)进行检疫隔离

be put/kept in quarantine 被隔离

eg.His uncle was put in quarantine for ten days.


When China went into lockdown in late January, economists thought that its growth trajectory would be v-shaped. There would be a sharp slowdown, followed by a swift rebound as soon as the virus was under control, as happened with China's outbreak of SARS in 2003. They were right about the slowdown.

1月下旬,中国在进入封锁状态时,经济学家认为中国的增长轨迹将呈“ V”形。一旦病毒得到控制,疫情就会出现急剧放缓,然后迅速反弹,就像2003年中国爆发非典那样。他们对经济放缓的预测是正确的。

rebound  英[rɪˈbaʊnd] 美[rɪˈbaʊnd]

v.弹回; 反弹; 报应; 反作用于; 回升

n.反弹球; 回弹球; 抢断篮板球; 复兴; 振作 

eg.The WTO expects trade to rebound by nearly 10% this year. 


Hundreds of millions of people stayed inside for weeks on end. Factories, offices, restaurants and shops closed, in scenes now being replayed around the world. Most analysts think that China’s economy shrank in the first three months of 2020, perhaps by as much as 10%. The last time it contracted was more than four decades ago, at the end of the Cultural Revolution, according to official data.



The prediction of a quick, strong recovery is more debatable. With barely any new cases of covid-19 now being detected, the government is trying to restore normal life. At four separate meetings of the ruling Politburo since late February, leaders have declared that they want to restart the economy. But doing so is far from simple when the pandemic is still raging elsewhere.


pandemic 英[pænˈdemɪk] 美[pænˈdemɪk]

n.(全国或全球性) 流行病; 大流行病

adj.(疾病) 大流行的; 普遍的,全世界的  

eg.These differences meet the criteria for an influenza pandemic


Reviving growth involves boosting both supply and demand. Officials schooled in Marxist theory, which emphasises production rather than consumption, have naturally turned first to the former, ie, to ensuring that goods are made.



The main problem has been a dearth of blue-collar workers, many of whom went to their hometowns for the spring festival just before the lockdown and have not yet returned. Production hubs along the coast have chartered trains and buses to bring them back.



Fully 98% of all listed companies have resumed work, says the securities regulator. Around the country 89% of big investment projects, from airport expansions to the laying of gas pipelines, are also under way, according to a planning commission. "Roaring Chinese factories in full swing", Xinhua, a state news agency, proclaimed on March 21st.


investment 英[ɪnˈvestmənt] 美[ɪnˈvestmənt]    

n. 投资;投入;封锁

(invest v.)

eg.He said the government must introduce tax incentives to encourageinvestment

Measures aimed at preventing another surge of covid-19 have added to the complexities of manufacturing in China. The German manager of an optical-wire factory in Jiangsu province has divided his workers into ten separate units to minimise the risk of cross-infections. The units are kept apart from each other in the factory, the canteen and their dormitories.


Such measures are necessary but cumbersome, he says. Firms are also wary of sending staff around the country because some places still impose 14-day quarantines on outsiders. Travel between cities, whether by plane, train or car, is at less than half its normal level.



Nevertheless, on the supply side, the overall picture is encouraging. Large companies report that they are fully operational. Foxconn, which makes most of Apple's iPhones in China, has said that it will resume normal production by the end of March. Even many smaller companies are in good shape.



Sean Xie, the general manager in China of Lenze, a German automation company, says that all 260 of its employees had returned to its factory in Shanghai as of March 20th, apart from a couple still stuck in Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak of covid-19 (Wuhan plans to lift its lockdown on April 8th).

德国自动化公司Lenze的中国总经理谢恩(Sean Xie)表示,截至3月20日,该公司所有260名员工已返回上海工厂,除了一对夫妇仍留在爆发“新冠”疫情的中心武汉(武汉计划在4月8日取消封城)。

lockdown 英[ˈlɒkdaʊn]    美[ˈlɑːkdaʊn]    


封 城 

the lockdown of a city / a city is on lockdown

eg.The besieged city of Deraa has been in lockdown for a week. 


Resuscitating demand is proving more difficult. It involves two things that are harder for the government to manage: global growth and public anxiety about the disease.



 "All the wheels started spinning very quickly here, but the orders aren't there," says a chemicals executive who oversees a factory in the city of Wuxi.



China can take some solace in the fact that it relies less on exports than it did during the global financial crisis of 2007-09. But domestic consumption is now far more central to the economy than exports ever were, and it is much curtailed. Retail sales plunged, unsurprisingly, when just about everyone was cooped up at home.



People now can move more freely, but many still avoid large crowds. Shops and restaurants are quiet. Covid-19 has cut people's incomes, so few seem willing to splurge yet on big-ticket items. Queues outside Apple stores—open in China but closed everywhere else—are deceptive. Apple strictly limits the number of customers to ensure a safe distance between them.



A good proxy for the state of consumption in China is urban traffic. Some thus welcome the return of traffic jams: congestion has reached about 90% of its normal level. But a closer look is less comforting. Some people who used to take subways to work are using cars instead, to limit contact with others.



Passenger numbers on subways are down by roughly two thirds in big cities. Unusually, there is no road congestion at the weekend. The occupancy rate of a posh international hotel chain is in the single digits, says the company's boss in China. Bao Wenjun, who owns a restaurant in Shanghai selling cheap and tasty noodles, says that his revenues are down by nearly three-quarters.


occupancy rate 

英[ˈɒkjəpənsi reɪt]    美[ˈɑːkjəpənsi reɪt]    

入住率, 租用率, 居住率, 占用率

eg.The average hotel occupancy rate increased threefold to over 60 per cent this month. 


For consumption to recover, people must feel confident. Most provinces have reduced their emergency-alert levels. Even Hubei, the worst-hit, has started to let people (other than residents of Wuhan, the capital) travel elsewhere.



But anxiety abounds. Except in a few remote regions, schools are into their second month of closure. Only about 500 of the country's 11,000 cinemas have re-opened. The government has tightened border controls because many travellers—541 at last count—have tested positive for the virus after arriving from abroad.



In the past China has often been quick to unleash stimulus measures to counteract economic slowdowns. Its spending splurge in response to the global financial crisis was crucial to the world’s recovery. This time China has been uncharacteristically restrained.



Britain has pledged to make loans to firms worth 15% of GDP and America is working on a support package worth nearly 10% of its output. But China's fiscal measures—mainly tax and fee cuts—so far add up to little more than 1% of its GDP. Whereas America has slashed its interest rates to zero, China has barely trimmed its own.



What explains the frugality? One reason is that China has no need to replicate some of the other countries’ actions. Take the struggling airline industry. The American programme includes $58bn in aid for it. Britain may take direct stakes in its airlines. The Chinese government already owns the country's biggest airlines.

如何解释这种节俭? 原因之一是中国无需重复其他国家的某些行动。以陷入困境的航空业为例。美国计划包括580亿美元的援助。英国可能直接入股其航空公司。中国政府已经拥有该国最大的航空公司。


State-owned firms account for about three-quarters of corporate debt in China. The government need not spell out that it stands behind them. Investors know that. Whereas corporate-bond prices have fallen sharply in the West—reflecting concerns about firms' solvency—they have only inched down in China. In the Lingang free-trade zone, Mr Gu goes out of his way to note that the official subsidies are mainly aimed at private businesses, which have a harder time obtaining loans than state firms do.


国有企业 State-owned enterprise/firm

民营企业 Private enterprise

外资企业 Foreign-invested enterprise

合资企业 Joint venture

自主创业 Self-employed

For officials the most worrying trend is a sharp rise in joblessness. The unemployment rate in urban areas jumped nearly a full percentage point to 6.2% in February, the highest on record. And this rate fails to capture the tens of millions of migrants who are still in their hometowns, waiting for the economy to perk up before returning to cities for work. So the government is cautiously rolling out some stimulus. On March 20th it pledged to increase financial support for the unemployed.


More help may be on the way. The government has given provinces more leeway to raise funds for such things as infrastructure and buildings. Spending of this kind has been a cornerstone of China's past stimulus packages.



英[ˈɪnfrəstrʌktʃə(r)]    美[ˈɪnfrəstrʌktʃər]    

n.(国家或机构的) 基础设施,基础建设

eg. Second, as China did in 1998, how infrastructure investment can both create jobs butcreate the foundation for future growth. 


But now it is proceeding gingerly. It fears that unleashing more of it could push up debt levels, which are already dangerously high. Most crucially, for all their talk about restarting the economy, China's leaders are wary of letting growth rip until they are certain that a boom in business will not also bring a resurgence of covid-19. "We want to reduce risk to the absolute minimum and will not count the cost of that," says Mr Gu. The economic rebound can wait.

但现在它正小心翼翼地进行着,担心释放更多的资本会推高已经处于危险高位的债务水平。最重要的是,尽管中国领导人一直在谈论重启经济,但在他们确信商业繁荣不会带来“新冠病毒”的复苏之前,他们对放任经济增长保持谨慎。顾先生说:“我们希望将风险降低到最低限度,而不考虑其成本。” 经济复苏可以等待。