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Hundreds of Chinese Firms Seek Billions in Loans to Contend With Coronavirus

February 13, 2020 5:54 am

Beijing (PingWest)—More than 300 Chinese companies are seeking bank loans totaling at least 57.4 billion RMB ($8.2 billion) to help to soften the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported Monday, citing bank sources.

Authorities have cordoned off cities, suspended transport links and shuttered facilities where crowds gather, hammering economic growth that one senior economist said could slow to 5% or less in the first quarter.

Extended factory closures, meanwhile, will slow manufacturing and weigh on global supply chains.

Among the prospective borrowers are food delivery giant Meituan Dianping, smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp, ride-hailing provider Didi Chuxing Technology Co, facial recognition start-up Megvii Technology Inc and internet security business Qihoo 360 Technology Co, the sources said, adding that the companies seeking loans were either involved in the control of the epidemic or had been hardest hit.

China is fighting to contain the epidemic, which has killed more than 900 people in the country and infected more than 40,000.