Alibaba Releases Survey on Medium and Small-Sized Enterprises During the COVID-19 Outbreak

(Source: Quartz)

AliResearch and the China Household Finance Survey and Research Center of Southwestern University of Finance released a joint survey on medium and small-sized enterprises (MSME) during the COVID-19 outbreak and the general macroeconomic situation.

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The survey results are included in a research paper from Alibaba’s Luohan Academy, titled “Jumpstarting Recovery Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak.” The paper includes forecasts on the outbreak’s peak and how the micro and macro measures in place and the imminent return of 170 million migrant laborers to their regular jobs could impact China’s business and economic recovery.

Although the coronavirus has bitten deeply into the revenue of China’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the short-term economic sentiment is negative, their overall entrepreneurial spirit remains high with 99% of companies surveyed saying they have no intention of shutting down.

Earlier this month, the results of a different survey conducted among thousands of MSMEs earlier this month showed that over 96% of the respondents expect to suffer losses form reduced orders and loss of customers. And yet, the survey’s 23,715 respondents displayed unmistakable optimism.

Almost no companies indicated an intent to give up, and nearly 90% of sellers said they won’t cut jobs in 2020. Two-thirds said they’re upbeat about future activity in 2020, with over 14% expecting rapid growth in scale or profits and 11% foreseeing little change from last year. However, the businesses are still suffering, with nearly 41% saying it’s difficult to operate, while also indicating that they’d be able to keep going.

In regards to China’s overall macroeconomic situation, slightly under 75% of respondents noted that they were optimistic or unsure about the future outlook, and only about a quarter expressed pessimism.