State enterprises bankroll recovery in hard-hit Hubei

Over 30 SOEs sign more than 70 deals with province hammered by the coronavirus lockdown early this year to help it get back on its feet

by Nadeem Xu, Jim Pollard
State enterprises bankroll recovery in hard-hit Hubei
State enterprises have signed dozens of deals to help Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province, which was the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak early this year. File photo by AFP. 

(ATF) Some 34 centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in China signed dozens of investment deals with the virus-hit Hubei Province last week, according to the State Council's Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).

The move aims to revive the economy of Hubei, which was the province hardest-hit by the coronavirus epidemic late last year and early this year.

The deals, with combined investment of 327.73 billion yuan (over $46 billion), cover various industries including new energy, environmental protection, "intelligent" manufacturing and information technology.

SASAC will provide more policy support to promote cooperation between central state enterprises and Hubei Province, the commission's chief Hao Peng said.

Central state enterprises have signed 623 cooperation agreements with Hubei over the past four years, with total investment exceeding 1 trillion yuan.

So far, nearly 80 of the 97 central state enterprises have invested in the province.

More than 50,000 people caught the coronavirus in Wuhan and close to 1,300 died from the disease, according to official records. In fact, some media outlets in the West claim the death toll was way higher than this, based on "non-stop" activity at the city's crematoria.

And in May, when there were fears of a second-wave of infections, city officials spent US$126 million testing nearly 11 million people in Wuhan, and discovered about 300 citizens had the virus but were asymptomatic.

Officials said the testing was important to give citizens peace of mind, so they can get on with life without stressing about what might happen in the future, as well as generating evidence to show that a vast number of people have been tested and don't have the disease.

News about state-owned enterprises getting together to support Hubei province will also be a boost for the millions of people who endured an ardous weeks-long lockdown early this year.