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China travel searches soar as crowd cheers for coronavirus relief By Reuters

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© Reuters. Guards in protective suits monitor the gate of a residential complex as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in Beijing, December 7, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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Written by Sophie Yu and Martin Quinn Pollard

BEIJING (Reuters) – Searches soared on Chinese travel websites and flooded social media platforms with joy and relief on Wednesday as the public welcomed the biggest easing of some of the world’s toughest coronavirus policies.

Travel platforms Trip.com to Qunar said searches for airline tickets to cities such as the tourist hotspots of Sanya and Harbin jumped as much as seven times after news of the relaxed rules was announced, as many people look forward to traveling around the Lunar New Year. vacation in january

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China’s relaxation of its rules includes allowing people with mild or no symptoms to be quarantined at home and canceling tests for people who travel domestically, marking a clear end to its deeply unpopular anti-coronavirus strategy.

This policy has kept the number of infections in China very low by global standards, but it has also stifled its economy and had a devastating impact on the lives of many people.

Frustration with the rules boiled over into widespread protests late last month.

Wednesday’s announcement quickly rose to the most-watched topic on Chinese platform Weibo (NASDAQ:) as many people embraced “finally” a return to normal.

A Weibo user commented: “The fight against the epidemic has been going on for three years, and it’s a history-making day.”

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Dozens of people also flocked to the Weibo account of Li Wenliang, a doctor in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged, who died in 2020 after sounding an early warning about COVID-19 and whose last post was an online haven. For those looking to vent about personal problems and public politics.

“Doctor, we made it, we’ll be free,”

wrote one user. “Daylight is here,” another wrote.

Cautious optimism, exhaust

The news was also welcomed by foreign business groups, many of which have become increasingly vocal about the harm the no-COVID policy is doing to the Chinese economy and their companies’ operations.

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“Timely implementation will help stabilize the Chinese economy and restore life to normal,” the European Chamber of Commerce in China said of the 10 measures announced on Wednesday.

He urged a clearly defined roadmap for businesses and local governments.

It also urged China to roll out mRNA vaccines for home use as part of a vaccination drive, with priority given to the elderly.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China said it views any policy that indicates openness as a positive, adding that the business environment needs to return to a level of predictability so that businesses can resume normal operations.

“Today’s actions focused on the domestic environment; however, we would also like to see further easing of domestic travel restrictions, continuing the progress made on this front earlier in the year,” said Colm Rafferty, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, in a statement. This year”. statement.

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However, there has been some concern on Chinese social media about whether the opening could unleash a wave of infections. Many people were rushing to stock up on home testing kits as well as fever and cough medicine.

Others questioned why it took so long, given that most of the world has lifted restrictions and chosen to live with the virus, even while it spreads.

“A year ago, the rest of the world did this, so why didn’t we do it before?” One user wrote on WeChat. “People are so exhausted,” another wrote.

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.