Amid coronavirus outbreak, China’s banks are now aiming to start business again and in a bid to lure new customers, the banks across the country have started to offer masks. As China is the epicentre of coronavirus, the government has declared that the peak of the virus has passed, however, masks and disinfectant are still in short supply. China Everbright Bank Co Ltd is reportedly offering customers five masks, who link their debit or credit card to their WeChat pay accounts.
According to an international media outlet, Bank of Wuhan in northern Inner Mongolia is also offering free masks if they sign up for fixed-term deposits of over 10,000 yuan or buy 50,000 yuan worth of wealth management products, among other offerings. The Hunan Hengdong Rural Commercial Bank also said that customers who made deposits will get a free mask, disinfectant and alcohol wipes. Similarly, another bank, Zhejiang Mintai Commercial Bank said that it would give masks to those aged over 50 who sign up to their app.
Before the unprecedented outbreak, China’s banks were already under pressure as loan prime rate reform shave margins and the US-Sino trade ware deterred borrowing in the manufacturing. And earlier this week, China’s economic indicators plunged to historic lows. In a bid to revive the economy, the banks started dangling free masks and other necessities as incentives.
Currently, China has almost 80,881 confirmed coronavirus cases and the deadly virus has also claimed more than 3,200 lives. The Chinese authority also reopened several schools in the northwestern provinces of Xinjiang and Qinghai and in southwest China’s Guizhou. The authorities decided to reopen schools as they cited a ‘relatively low attack rate’ for persons below 18, roughly 2.4 per cent. furthermore, it also highlighted that the impact to be relatively ‘mild’ among individuals below 19 years of age and stated that only 2.5 per cent cases might spiral into the severe disease.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus as a global pandemic after the virus spread to more than 160 countries, resulting in the deaths of more than 7,000 people worldwide. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom further even urged all nations to get very serious over the issue and take all necessary measures to contain the virus from spreading at this rate. Tedros said, that the word 'Pandemic' cannot be used lightly or carelessly due to its strong connotation.