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Aid with a heart lifts industry's soul

ByCHEN JIA in Shenzhen, Guangdong (China Daily) Update:2020-08-24


Visitors check out a video game at the TCL CSOT booth during an internet expo in Beijing. [Photo by A Jing/For China Daily]

TCL CSOT has another large plant in Wuhan, Hubei province, the epidemic's first epicenter. The company kept production there at 85 percent of total capacity when the city was locked down in February and March.

"Maintaining operations during the pandemic also helped stabilize global supply chains, making China's products more reliable for foreign importers," Yang said.

TCL CSOT's six production lines supply products to global tech giants, including Sony of Japan, Huawei of China and Samsung of South Korea. Next year, TCL CSOT's factory in India will start operations. Its factories already supply 50-60 percent of LCD panels used in the domestic market.

Shenzhen established a Special Economic Zone or SEZ four decades back that transformed the Chinese economy. Its recent preferential industrial development and tax policies have proved to be a boon for high-tech and private companies. The city's GDP reached 2.69 trillion yuan in 2019, the third largest after Shanghai and Beijing.

But this year, COVID-19 did dent the city's economic performance. City GDP contracted 6.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, but recovered a tad later to post a growth of 0.1 percent to 1.26 trillion yuan by June-end. It is the only city among the nation's four first-tier cities to see its local GDP grow, albeit marginally, according to official data.

Tang Shukui, head of the Shenzhen Finance Bureau, said this year could prove to be the toughest since the establishment of the Shenzhen SEZ in 1980, because the city faces tightening fiscal conditions due to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis and the escalation of China-US trade frictions.

By the end of June, the general public budget revenue of Shenzhen dropped 4.7 percent from a year earlier, while its tax revenues declined by 9 percent.

In the first quarter alone, Shenzhen cut about 76 billion yuan in taxes and fees, following similar policies of both the central and provincial governments, to support local businesses and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To encourage banks to lend more to smaller firms, the financial department of the Shenzhen city government set up a capital pool to compensate the risk of loan losses during the COVID-19 crisis.

In the event of any non-performing loans, the fiscal fund will cover a certain portion of bad debts of banks. As of today, the capital pool has included more than 300 billion yuan loans for medium, small and micro enterprises, according to a local government document.

Such supportive policies seek to save companies from disruptions to timely financing, and have resulted in quick production resumption when the virus was controlled, said Tang.