Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Exclusive: Hundreds of Chinese businesses seek billions in loans to contend with coronavirus - sources

Stock MarketsFeb 10, 2020 08:10PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. Customers wearing face masks shop inside a supermarket following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan

By Cheng Leng, Yingzhi Yang and Ryan Woo

BEIJING (Reuters) - More than 300 Chinese companies are seeking bank loans totaling at least 57.4 billion yuan ($8.2 billion) to help to soften the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, two banking sources said.

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 (HK:3690), smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp (HK:1810), 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.

The companies seeking loans in the Chinese capital are likely to get fast-track approvals and preferential interest rates, said the sources, who received copies of two lists of company names sent to Beijing banks by the city government's finance bureau.

The two lists also contained the size of loans sought.

There is no official data showing the total loans Chinese companies are seeking nationwide to weather the outbreak.

"Banks will have the final say on lending decisions," one of the sources said. "The interest rates are likely to be on par with those offered to banks' top clients."

Xiaomi, the world's fourth-biggest smartphone maker, is seeking 5 billion yuan ($716 million) in loans to produce and sell medical equipment including masks and thermometers, according to the lists.

Meituan Dianping is seeking 4 billion yuan, partly to help finance free food and deliveries to medical staff in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak in central Hubei province.

Privately held Didi Chuxing, "severely impacted by the virus outbreak", is seeking 50 million yuan.


Exchange disclosures showed that Xiaomi's third-quarter revenue growth slowed, but gross profit surged 25.2% year on year to 8.2 billion yuan. Meituan Dianping has been profitable for the past two quarters.

Beijing-based Qihoo 360 is seeking 1 billion yuan ($143.3 million) to buy medical-related products and finance work on apps to track and contain the virus.

Facial recognition start-up Megvii applied for 100 million yuan to develop technology including means to improve the accuracy of identifying masked individuals in crowds, according to one of the lists.

Megvii declined to confirm the loan or the loan application.

Megvii said it is working to optimize the artificial intelligence-enabled body temperature screening product it launched last week to help fight the virus, by spotting and locating people in a crowd who have elevated temperatures, even if they are wearing masks. Megvii does not verify the personal identities of people wearing masks.

Beijing-based Megvii has sought to raise funds through an initial public offering in Hong Kong, but its efforts were initially delayed after its inclusion on a U.S. trade blacklist over alleged involvement in human rights violations related to Beijing's clampdown on Uighurs in China's Xinjiang region. The company has said it "strongly objected" to the U.S. move.

Meituan Dianping, Didi and Xiaomi declined to comment. Qihoo 360 did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The financial bureau of the Beijing city government did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

The finance bureau previously said that businesses seeking financial support could ask for its help.

Companies on the bureau's lists also include vegetable market operators, ambulance manufacturers, environmental protection firms and other businesses key to maintaining food supplies and supporting efforts to contain the outbreak. But it was not immediately clear if all of them are creditworthy.

"The banks won't lend to all because they need to evaluate whether those companies are really able to pay back," one of the sources said.

China's central bank has injected cash into the banking system to shore up market confidence, while the banking and insurance watchdog has also urged lenders to lower interest rates.

The local bureaus of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the top economic planner, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) are also compiling lists of affected companies and offering them support.

Exclusive: Hundreds of Chinese businesses seek billions in loans to contend with coronavirus - sources

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (2)
嘉偉 吳
嘉偉 吳 Feb 10, 2020 8:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
How about the other debit in different countries make the debit great again.
Zen Cat
LittleZenCat Feb 10, 2020 6:46AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
House of cards~
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email