China is banking on a boost in “new infrastructure” – including artificial intelligence and big data, with the 5G mobile network the main priority, says Rowan Callick.

MELBOURNE: Optimists of a post-COVID-19 economic recovery hope that Beijing will summon a massive infrastructure stimulus, triggering a commodity boom, as happened after the global financial crisis in 2009.

China’s emergence from the pandemic has been slower than expected, with some public health controls becoming institutionalised, and with second-order economic effects being felt via lost export orders and jobs.

Life is returning to normal in most provinces, but strict neighbourhood-level monitoring, testing, and social distancing remain in place. China can’t relax fully while the virus is still spreading internationally.

New locally transmitted cases are still being reported, so school openings have been postponed, and cinemas closed again after briefly reopening.

China business analysts Gavekal Dragonomics say that two-thirds of people are back in workplaces, but most still can’t obtain door-to-door deliveries, only half have visited a shopping mall this month, and all must still quarantine if travelling beyond their city of residence, and again on return.

Please click here to read the full “The brights spots of China’s post-coronavirus economy” article published at CNA, written by Griffith Asia Institute, industry fellow, Rowan Callick.