China's business operations
Restrictions are still in place around the movement of people between cities and provinces. Most businesses have resumed work, but there are still many people working remotely.
Communication and productivity technologies are experiencing strong growth as people work from home. This includes tools like WeChat Work, Tencent Meetings. DingTalk, an enterprise app from Alibaba, jumped 37 spots to become the third most downloaded free iOS app in China.
In order to minimise further spreading of the virus as employees return to work, the Chinese government has issued Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Epidemic Situations in the Resumption of Production and Resumption of Enterprises and Institutions (read it here - note the information is in Chinese).
It pays to keep across different local and provincial government rules and guidelines, to ensure business are adequately prepared.
Advice to exporters
In terms of immediate activity, make the safety and well-being of teams your priority, and invest as needed to ensure a safe and healthy working environment. Many businesses are still allowing employees to work from home where this is possible. Check in with your Chinese business partners and see how they are doing and how you might be able to support them during this time.
Be proactive and keep regular communication with staff and ensure they are safe, healthy and supported. Review your travel policies in line with official advice. Setup communication plans and systems for working remotely.
At a higher level, take a strategic look at your 2020 plans. Incorporate the latest market condition changes into your 2020 budget, and rebalance costs and activity based on revised revenue forecasts. Monitor your supply chain closely, realign your product offerings, commercial organisation, channel partners and marketing approach to respond to changing market conditions - both now and after the epidemic ends. Also keep a close watch for potential opportunities and be ready to move quickly if they present themselves.
Some insurance providers are not insuring any loss, damage or delay to some cargo going to China under the current circumstances, so stay in touch proactively with your insurance providers.
Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Epidemic Situations in the Resumption of Production and Resumption of Enterprises and Institutions, Chinese Central Government Web Portal. You can also read the report from the press conference here (Chinese language)