BUSINESS Financial hub speeds up work resumption as epidemic recedes


Financial hub speeds up work resumption as epidemic recedes

Global Times

01:46, March 18, 2020


Aerial photo taken on Oct. 15, 2019 shows a view of the Lujiazui area in Shanghai, east China. (Photo:Xinhua)

When walking in Lujiazui, a world-renowned financial center in Shanghai's Pudong New Area, there are few signs of the COVID-19 outbreak as the area gears up to resume work.

Tourist sites in the area are now open to the public, while restaurants and cafes are busy receiving customers and delivery orders, with some 280 skyscrapers packed with workers. 

The main differences are the masks on people's faces, strict entrance requirements when going into buildings, and the smell of disinfectant in the air.

The resumption of work in the area was made possible thanks to the efforts of the Lujiazui Financial and Trade Zone Management Committee.

Porsche China said the company would not have been able to offset the impact of the epidemic so rapidly without the help of the committee. 

The company saw care sales growth of 8 percent year-on-year in 2019, accounting for 31 percent of Porsche AG's global sales.

"China remains the largest single market of Porsche AG for the fifth consecutive year and our team left for the Spring Festival break [in a positive] mood," Jens Puttfarcken, president and CEO of Porsche China, said on Thursday.

Then came the COVID-19 outbreak. The epidemic has posed severe challenges for the company headquartered in Lujiazui, as it has cast a shadow over car sales, broken up inter-province and inter-country logistics chains, and impeded work resumption both for the company and its dealers.

According to Puttfarcken, the committee helped the company locate large storage venues for some 3,000 premium cars as its car sales in China dropped temporarily, helping it save more than 6 million yuan ($856,700) in rent at its two retail stores in Pudong. 

"We're confident in China's car market when it comes to premium cars and expect the sales to pick up in May," he said.

The company established a digital team in 2019 and will invest 200 million yuan over the next three years in order to create a brand new digital community experience tailored to the Chinese market.

Porsche China is not the only company benefiting from Lujiazui's thoughtful service. Five enterprises linked to US tech giant Apple Inc in Shanghai were also able to resume operations with the support of the committee.

Lujiazui has assisted nearly half of the local firms that are eligible for virus-related financial support to secure 1.2 billion yuan in funds since early February, with another 900 million yuan on the way, said the committee.

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