A cinema in Hangzhou. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Huandy618

Total revenue of Chinese companies in the cultural sector fell 13.9% to 1.69 trillion yuan (US$239.8 billion) in the first three months of the year from a year ago due to the negative impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the economy.

Many cultural firms were hit by the epidemic in the first quarter and suffered a significant drop in revenue, said the National Bureau of Statistics, which published a report with 59,000 cultural firms surveyed.

Manufacturers of cultural products saw their revenue down 18.5% to 659.6 billion yuan during the first quarter from the same period of last year, while retailers and wholesalers in the sector recorded a 27.3% decline in their revenue to 264.8 billion yuan. Cultural service providers generated revenue of 764.5 billion yuan, down 2.9%.

News and information providers enjoyed 11.6% growth in revenue to 173.9 billion yuan for the same period. Operators of entertainment and recreational facilities suffered from a 59.1% decrease in revenue to 1.19 billion yuan.

New cultural firms engaged in 16 businesses including online media, games and the manufacturing of drones, wearables and smart devices benefited from the epidemic as their revenue grew 15.5% to 523.6 billion yuan.

Service trade

China’s total service trade fell 10.8% to 1.15 trillion yuan in the first quarter from a year earlier due to the Covid-19 epidemic, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

Service exports decreased by 4.1 % to 444.28 billion yuan, while imports fell 14.5% to 708.02 billion yuan. The service trade deficit decreased to 263.74 billion yuan in the first three months of this year from 365 billion yuan in the same period last year.

The ministry highlighted strong resilience in China’s trade of knowledge-intensive services amid the epidemic, which jumped 7.8 % year on year to 466.9 billion yuan and represented 40.5% of the total service trade. It also said the trade structure has kept improving with a narrowing deficit.

In contrast to the merchandise trade, the trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transportation, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing and accounting.

Company news

China Construction Bank, one of the four largest Chinese lenders, said in a statement that the bank will suspend all or part of its commodity trade services and change the processing time and rules for contracts that are going to expire when the international commodity prices are close to zero or negative.

The bank will not continue the automated position transfer set by its clients if trading of their contracts has been suspended. It said such a move was aimed at protecting the rights and interests of its clients.

Geely Group, a Hong Kong-listed automobile maker, issued 1.5 million ordinary shares Monday due to the exercise of share options by other eligible participants of the group under the share option plan adopted in 2012. The newly-issued shares accounted for 0.016% of all issued shares.

The issue price was HK$4.08 (53 US cents) per share, a discount of 66.34% from the closing price of HK$12.12 per share on April 29. Shares of Geely closed 4.68% up at HK$12.08 on Tuesday.

The story was written by Yang Zhijie and Wang Xiaohan but first published at ATimesCN.com. It was translated into English by Nadeem Xu.