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March 25, 2020

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City officials step up to help SMEs

Shanghai has undertaken numerous measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises resume operations amid the COVID-19 outbreak, such as offering loans totaling more than 30 billion yuan (US$4.25 billion), city officials said yesterday.

Other measures include providing free broadband networks, cloud resources, protective resources and research support, recruiting and insurance.

Currently, close to 90 percent of Shanghai’s SMEs have resumed operations, while almost 80 percent of employees have returned to their positions this month.

In the service industry, 50 percent of SMEs have resumed operations, said Zhang Jianming, deputy director of the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology.

“Shanghai’s SMEs have resumed work at a gradual and stable pace,” Zhang told a city conference held yesterday.

The commission tasked banks, including Bank of China and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, to disperse the available credit, which will mainly support high-tech and innovation-oriented companies.

SMEs can also take advantage of insurance subsidies, financial guarantees and many financing services, particularly those hit hardest by the pandemic.

A special fund has been established to award SMEs that contributed to fighting the virus up to 1 million yuan each to invest in research.

Other resources include free and upgraded broadband networks and work-at-home systems offered by high-tech firms and cloud service providers.

Local startups are offering the latest technologies to help SMEs get back to work, including protection and sterilization products, as well as work-at-home and contactless recruiting.

CC Intelligence has offered business-connection services to help companies find protection and sterilization products, which are necessary for work resumption.

The company’s Qixinbao service has a database of 210 million enterprises and 70 billion business information lines.

“During the pandemic, we have highlighted suppliers’ information on the front pages of healthcare, protection and sterilization, and medical-test categories,” said Tang Songrong, vice president of CC Intelligence, during a city government conference.

MoSeeker, a human resources firm, offers AI and contactless recruiting services to firms in Shanghai, including multinationals and SMEs.

“Of the company’s clients, overseas firms such as Tesla and Lily have stable demand for recruiting workers in Shanghai,” said Dow Wang, founder and CEO of MoSeeker.

Tesla plans to recruit 800 people for new jobs in Shanghai and has hired more than 500 employees already, a company official said.


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