China’s virus-era immigration rules are disrupting Japanese companies: NNA survey

03, Mar. 2020

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TOKYO, NNA – Over 80 percent of Japanese firms operating in China believe local authorities are tightening controls on inbound business travel to block any entries by people with the novel coronavirus, an NNA survey found.

Of 298 respondents polled on last Friday and Saturday, 81.2 percent had experienced action in China to examine Japanese expatriates and business travelers entering the country. The virus originated in the Chinese city Wuhan in December and later spread in Japan and other countries.

Provincial and city governments across China are requiring quarantines and special escorts now to separate people potentially infected by the deadly virus outbreaks in Japan and South Korea among other nations.

Among those firms, 143 said Japanese staff members who had no close contact with infected patients have been quarantined for 14 days after entry into China. Sixty-seven firms said their Japanese employees had been assigned special treatment such as an official escort upon arrivals from airports to designated hotels or residences.

Those local administrations as well as office building management firms and homeowner associations at condominium complexes are requiring companies to submit health updates and lists of employee names, 151 firms told the poll.

The interceptions of employees are disrupting plans to hold meetings and provide technical assistance at factories in China, respondents added. Quarantines make Japanese companies hesitate to ask staff people return to China, some added. Of those surveyed, 77.2 percent said the measures are affecting their business activities.

The respondents include 167 companies in Shanghai, 47 in Jiangsu Province and 29 in Guangdong Province.