Running a Business in China in Times of Virus

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Running a Business in China in Times of Virus

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How to Operate Your China Business Remotely during the Coronavirus Outbreak
January 29, 2020
Posted by China Briefing Reading Time: 6 minutes

By Adam Livermore and Thomas Zhang, Dezan Shira & Associates

With the current outbreak of coronavirus throughout China, businesses are having to consider how to effectively utilize their employees under the situation where physical contact between individuals is being restricted to a very high degree. The gathering of large numbers of staff in offices should be avoided as much as possible, both in terms of infection risks, as well as because many staff have to rely on heavily restricted public transport to reach the office. It is in public environments where the risk of infection is highest. Your business needs to mitigate against having staff travel, if at all possible, during this time.

Similarly, other traditional methods of business operation like utilization of express mail for delivery of important documents cannot function under current situations. Such services have been shut down because both the physical documents themselves and those workers carrying such documents can be a cause of potential contamination. Sending staff to supplier factories to implement quality assurance work also becomes impractical under the restrictions put in place.

In short, most options for the standard operation of businesses using traditional methodologies are temporarily closed. The options that remain open rely on “remote” operations. These methodologies only require the transmission of data through cables / WiFi – something that at least the current coronavirus cannot take advantage of. There are of course other dangers and problems relating to over-reliance on digital communications, particularly for organizations that have not put in place a robust Business Continuity Plan (BCP).

In this article, we outline some options and advice that specifically relate to the Chinese business environment. Considerations should focus on the short-term situation (the coming two to three weeks when employees may be restricted to their apartments while the incubation period for this virus passes) and the medium-term situation.

For the forthcoming weeks, companies will need to rely on the corporate digital infrastructure that they have already put in place and supplement it with the other non-corporate infrastructure that exists in China, while being aware of the limitations and weaknesses of these public channels.
Full article: ... -outbreak/
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