Hong Kong’s ‘Third Wave’ Of COVID-19 Stalls Its Recovery

What happened: Hong Kong is currently experiencing a spike in COVID-19 infections, as the city reported 121 new cases on July 31. It is the tenth day in a row the city has registered 100-plus new infections, and this third wave of COVID-19 infections is showing no signs of easing up. Amid these record-breaking infection figures, the government has reinstated a full-day ban on dining in restaurants. The BBC reported that Hong Kong’s government warned citizens that its hospital system could face collapse, and it has postponed September’s parliamentary elections by a year, saying it was necessary during this rise in coronavirus infections.

Jing Take: Despite sharing a border with the mainland, where the first cases of COVID-19 were reported, Hong Kong initially kept its tally of infections low and was able to avoid the extreme lockdown measures introduced in other parts of the world. But now, the city is grappling with its third wave of infections. Alongside the virus, Hong Kong is also facing an additional dilemma, as its economy contracted by 9 percent year-on-year during the second quarter. The Washington Post reported that two of Hong Kong’s biggest landlords disclosed lackluster results at the end of the second quarter. Losses at Wharf Real Estate Investment Co. sank from $900 million (HK$7 billion) to $574 million (HK$4.45 billion) year-on-year for the six months ending on June 30. Meanwhile, Hang Lung Properties Ltd. dropped from a booming $454 million (HK$3.52 billion) a year ago to $328 million (HK$2.54 billion) today.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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