Relocating is already a challenge, but relocating during a pandemic adds a new level of difficulty. After years of surveying based in AIRINC’s Cambridge office, I was honored to accept a position at our Hong Kong branch late last year. From the beginning, I was excited to move to a vibrant global city, but the logistics proved more challenging than expected as a novel coronavirus (at the time still unnamed) spread in January. Even before being declared a pandemic, COVID-19 was having a broad and unpredictable impact across the globe.
While no one can predict when the COVID-19 outbreak will be contained, the pandemic has firmly stalled and reversed rising property trends across Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore. AIRINC spoke to industry experts across Asia’s most dynamic business hubs to understand the unique characteristics of each market and what changes and opportunities lie ahead.
Perspective in Global Mobility is important, and we work hard to bring unique insights from across the world of mobility and the many facets it covers. The interview below is with AIRINC APAC's Client Solution Manager, Wei Wu, who is a Chinese National and completed a two-year assignment at our headquarters in Cambridge before transferring to our AIRINC Hong Kong office.
AIRINC is featured in the February edition of Mobility, a magazine that "examines the key issues affecting the global mobility workforce." This article appears on page 10, the "Tips and Trends" section, and is entitled Housing Markets on the Rise—and Not.
AIRINC recently conducted a “pulse survey” to understand how global companies operating in China who maintain expatriate staff in the country are responding to the outbreak. Out of the 110 companies who participated in the survey, 99 companies or 90% are considering implementing specific actions for assignees in China in response to the spread of the COVID-19.
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has continued to spread over the past week and the World Health Organization named the virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on Thursday, January 30. As of Friday morning in China, there were 9,776 confirmed cases and 213 deaths. The WHO stressed in their Thursday press briefing that 99% of cases are in Mainland China. 60% of cases and 96% of deaths are in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak where Wuhan is located. Isolated cases are still emerging internationally, with confirmed cases in Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Macau, South Korea, United States, France, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Italy, Vietnam, Cambodia, Finland, India, Nepal, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
On December 31, 2019, health authorities in China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of a unique strain of viral pneumonia-like illness emerging in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Many of the infected first identified were vendors or visitors at a wet market that sold fish and wild animal meat, which was subsequently closed on January 1, 2020.
China has implemented measures that generally reduce social security contributions. The reductions are primarily targeting employer contributions to the social insurance programs and are part of a multi-year effort to unify pension systems at the national level. However, the social insurance wage base has increased in Shanghai, resulting in an increase in employee contributions to social security for Shanghai taxpayers. The net effect is a reduction in income tax for Shanghai taxpayers as the increased employee social contributions are deductible.
There has been a widespread outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Asia. ASF is a virus that causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs, with a mortality rate approaching 100%. The disease kills pigs rapidly, typically in two to ten days, but is harmless to humans.
When I took the metro at 6am on a Sunday morning in Beijing, trains were running every three minutes. This past quarter I surveyed six cities in China. The largest of these cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu, all have modern and efficient metro systems.