International

Chinese Consumers Shut Their Wallets In Face Of Coronavirus 

Businesses in China are bracing for the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, causing both Disney and McDonald’s to shutter over the Lunar New Year holiday as fears grow over the deadly Wuhan-originated virus, according to multiple news outlets.

Shanghai Disney Resort made the announcement on Friday (Jan. 24), stating the closure was “in response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak.” The closings come after the unveiling of a series of events tailored for China’s Year of the Rat with a “festive makeover” to usher in what is called the “Year of the Mouse.”

Meanwhile, McDonald’s has shuttered eateries in five Chinese cities and is launching new health protocols.

“Staff and customers’ safety is our first priority and we have comprehensive, precautious measures being implemented to all restaurant operations and office staff.”

Despite the slowing economy that had Chinese officials hoping people would spend, the government is now advising residents to stay home as the deadly virus spreads.

California and Arizona health officials said there were several cases of the virus in various counties there, all from people who had recently been to Wuhan, where the virus originated in China.

So far, dozens of people have died because of the virus, and in excess of 800 have been reported infected throughout Asia. Five people have been identified as suffering from the virus in the U.S.

While the virus has been reported in several countries, all the deaths have been in China.

U.S. State Department officials said a single flight evacuation is being organized for diplomats and other U.S. citizens from Wuhan — under quarantine — to San Francisco.

About 100 people with possible signs of the virus in 26 states have been probed or are currently being monitored.

The virus — a genetic cousin of the SARS virus— comes at a time when 7 million Chinese tourists travel abroad during the Lunar New Year holiday in 2019. The massive national holiday is considered peak time for international travel among Chinese nationals.

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LIVE PYMNTS ROUNDTABLE: MODERNIZING & SCALING FOR THE NEW NORMAL

The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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