CHINA Cases found in Ningbo garment plant have little impact to China's clothes processing industry: analyst


Cases found in Ningbo garment plant have little impact to China's clothes processing industry: analyst

Global Times

16:40, January 02, 2022

Shenzhou International, a major garment processing plant supplying global sports and leisure brands in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang Province, was listed as a medium-risk region as seven workers at the company were confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus.

Photo: CFP

Local health authorities in Ningbo said on Saturday that the genome sequencing of the first case found in Beilun, Ningbo showed the virus strain is highly similar to the Delta variant found in Vietnam, but different to the evolutionary branch of the Delta variant found in previous cases in Zhejiang, Xi'an, the capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province and Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Southwest China's Yunnan.

Regarding the newly detected cases, the Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, one of the world's busiest cargo hubs, said it entered a state of emergency and will maintain normal operations in order to ensure the logistics for foreign trade goods and stabilize supply chains.

"At present, the productions at every area in the port are stable and vessels arriving at the port operate normally," the port said in a statement.

Ningbo, a city about 3,000-4,000 kilometers away from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam by air and one of the richest cities in China, saw a coronavirus outbreak at the end of 2021. Local authorities said the new cases were irrelevant to the previous outbreak.

Workers are seen at a factory of the Shenzhou International Group Holdings Limited in Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province. File photo: Xinhua

The employer of the seven workers, Shenzhou International Group Holdings, is a garment and fabric processor and supplies global sports and leisure brands including NIKE, Adidas, Puma, and Uniqlo.

The company has garment factories in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and Phnom Penh City in Cambodia. According to textile information provider, the plants in Vietnam and Cambodia contribute nearly 40 percent of the company's garment production capacity.

Employing more than 90,000 employees worldwide, Shenzhou International produces more than 500 million pieces of knitted garments and has a fabric output of approximately 200,000 tons per year, the company's website said.

Chen Jing, vice president of the Technology and Strategy Research Institute, told the Global Times on Sunday that the coronavirus cases found in Shenzhou International won't have huge impacts on China's garment manufacturing industry.

"China's complete garment industry does not rely on a single company or a particular region. Previous experience also showed the country is able to contain the virus outbreak usually within one month. Zhenhai district in Ningbo, another textile hub, already contained the virus," Chen said, noting the company's share is not that large in the country's garment market.

On Sunday, Shenzhou International vowed to give a special bonus, ranging between 250-500 yuan ($39-$78) to employees who support epidemic prevention control measures, according to a letter issued by the company to its employees, seen by the Global Times. Employees who work on the frontline to combat the virus would receive 1,000 yuan each.

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