COVID-19’s impact on China’s small and medium-sized businesses

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in Nov. 2019 in Hubei Province, China, business activity in the world’s second-largest economy has ground to a halt. China’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which generate 90% of employment, constitute 80% of exports, and account for 70% of GDP, have been hit particularly hard.

To gauge the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs, in early February, the Enterprise Survey for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in China (ESIEC) team, led by Peking University, did a rapid follow-up survey of 2,349 previously sampled SMEs in seven provinces, which are largely representative at the provincial level and the major industrial level for China as a whole.

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