Hundreds of Chinese enterprises including leading tech firms are seeking billions in loans from China’s banking system to help them deal with the impacts of the spread of the coronavirus.
Sources said to Reuters that over Chinese 300 companies are seeking loans worth at least 57.4 billion yuan (approx. USD$8.2 billion), according to two lists of company names that the Beijing municipal government had sent to Beijing banks, both of which contain information on the scale of loans.
Companies applying for loans include those involved in efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus or those most severely affected, with interest rates expected to be those offered to top banking clients.
Loan applicants include a raft of tech firms, such as food deliverer Meituan Dianping, smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp, ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing Technology Co., online security company Qichoo 360 Technology Co., and facial recognition firm Megvii Technology Inc.
Xiaomi is reportedly seeking 5 billion yuan in loans for the production and sale of masks and thermometers, while Meituan Dianping has applied for 4 billion yuan to help fund free food deliveries to Wuhan medical personnel.
Didi Chuxing is applying for 50 million yuan on the grounds that it has been heavily impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has kept Chinese consumers indoors.
Qihoo 360 is seeking 1 billion yuan for medical products as well as apps that can track the spread of the virus, while Megvii is seeking 100 million yuan for technology to help improve the identification of masked individuals.