Coronavirus News Asia

China software, retail sectors decimated

China’s software industry has been wounded by the coronavirus outbreak, with sector-wide profit falling 13% in the first quarter.

The decline was mirrored by the most recent retail data, which shows household appliance sales also plummeted in double-digit percentages.

Revenue in China’s software industry was 1.4 trillion yuan ($200 billion) in the three months through March, down 6.2% from a year earlier. That reduced net profit to 166.7 bn yuan, down 13.1%, according to an announcement on Monday by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Consumption in the world’s second-largest economy slid as millions of citizens were put under strict lockdown for two months to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The hit to the economy was registered a 16.8% shrinkage of Q1 GDP, the first  contraction in generations.

Read: Google online shopping service to be free for merchants

Overall sales of household appliances totalled over 120 billion yuan, down 35.8%, according to a report Monday by the China Electronics and Information Industry Development Research Institute.

The report showed that offline appliance sales dropped to nearly 58 billion yuan, while online sales reached 62.6 billion yuan, the first time that e-commerce sales had outweighed those from physical channels.

One consumer bright spot during the coronavirus has been the growth of online gaming, as millions of people shuttered in their homes turned to digital entertainment.

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