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Dry Powder: The Private Equity Podcast

Lessons from China’s Reopening: The Macro View

China opens for business, but it’s hardly business as usual.

Podcast

Lessons from China’s Reopening: The Macro View
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The whole world has been watching as China reopens its economy and offers the world its first glimpse of the “new normal.” In some respects, it almost looks like business as usual.

“There are almost no restrictions in terms of intracity travel now across all mainland China,” says Kiki Yang, coleader of Bain’s Private Equity practice in the Asia-Pacific region.  “The percentage of people who resumed work was as high as about 90%.”

But look closer, Kiki says, and you’ll see startling sea changes in the way people shop, work and live.

“There [are] capacity restrictions for airlines and hotels,” Kiki explains on the most recent episode of Dry Powder. “For example, airlines are about 50%. Some of the tourist attractions could be as low as 30%, depending on which city we're talking about.”

What we’re seeing in China is an early glimpse of what a rebound really looks like on the ground. It can vary from region to region, sector to sector, and progress is always contingent on the state of public health. Many residents literally wait for a green light to move about the country.

“In the cities like Shanghai and on the mainland, you will be given a green QR code, that means you can safely travel.” Kiki says. “So even if, let's say, you're an employee of Bain & Company and you wanted to go back to our office in Shanghai. You need to have that QR code; otherwise, you cannot actually have access to the office building.” 

It’s just one of many revealing observations Kiki shares, as we discuss life on the other side of the Covid-19 curve.

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