Ever since the Coronavirus first emerged in December of last year, it has spread far beyond the industrial city of Wuhan in China from where it originated. The acute respiratory illness-causing virus has gripped a better part of China, spreading across cities and leaving disaster in its wake.
The official toll of the deadly virus has shown no signs of slowing down in the absence of a vaccine. The official number stands at 34000 infections and 722 deaths as of February 7th. Several cities and provinces across China have been locked down by the government to control the spread of the virus. However, the lockdown of the Hubei province did not do much toward halting the spread, with cases continuing to erupt in new cities.
Urban centers like Beijing, which are usually back to their bustling glory by now after the Lunar New Year holiday, are also empty. The government increased the holiday period by three days countrywide due to the virus outbreak. However, several local administrations have increased the holiday period by at least another week to keep people confined to their homes.
How Coronavirus Affects Businesses
As the human cost of the virus is continuously rising, so are the economic implications of the outbreak. Efforts to limit the spread of the virus have resulted in mounting costs for the Chinese economy.
Several high-profile global brands like Starbucks, Apple and IKEA have temporarily shut down all stores across the country. Other chains like McDonald’s and KFC and fashion brands like Nike have suffered major drop in sales, due to which they have been forced to close down several outlets across the country.
When SARS broke out in China in 2002, the country was basically manufacturing low-cost and low-value items like clothing and knock-off accessories.
All these years later, though, the situation is vastly different. China sits at the center of global trade now. Several companies rely on China to manufacture their products or components for their products. These include luxury fashion brands like Estee Lauder and Kate Spade and automobile manufacturers like Tesla, GM, and Toyota.
Trade and travel restrictions imposed by several countries and international airlines like United Airlines, British Airways, and Lufthansa mean that companies that rely on Chinese manufacturing are facing severe delays in shipments. Many companies have halted operations across their manufacturing plants in China and, consequently, have failed to meet delivery deadlines.
Effect of Coronavirus on the Chinese Economy
With casualties on the rise, the travel and export restrictions are not expected to be lifted until the virus can be controlled.
There is insufficient data to accurately assess the effect of the outbreak on global trade. Currently, there are only concerns expressed by international companies and conglomerates whose operations are affected by the situation. Experts predict that the fallout will be considerable and severe.
Conservative estimations state that the current trade shortfall will translate to a 0.5% dip in China’s growth rate this year. This percentage could rise if the situation surrounding the outbreak worsens.
Although it may not seem like a cause for concern even if the percentage difference rises to 1%, for a country like China with a huge economic output, this means a loss of hundreds of billions of dollars.
This fallout is also being indicated by falling shares on the Chinese stock market. Since the week of February 3rd when the stock market resumed operations after the holiday break, many shares have plummeted by a concerning degree.
Global stock markets have also been feeling the effects of the Chinese outbreak. It has given rise to fears that this public health concern could transform into an economic crisis having ramifications across the globe.
The Lunar New Year holiday had, up until now, dampened the impact on China’s economy. During this period, the country’s economy slows down a great deal every year. This phenomenon is accounted for by all companies operating in China and the overseas companies that rely on Chinese exports.
The holiday period normally lasts until the 10th of February during a regular year. Therefore, analysts suggest that the true impact of the country’s manufacturing and export shortfall can only be assessed after the holiday period is over.
The lockdown imposed over several cities in China has affected over 50 million people. A number of factories have been temporarily shut down either because of the government-imposed lockdown or following widespread concerns about public safety.
Although the country is currently on holiday, factory workers are expected to stay at home even after the holiday period ends on February 10th in order to avoid exposure to the virus.
Fake ID Websites: Delayed Shipments & lockdown
In addition to being a centerpiece of global trade, producing and shipping trillions of dollars of legitimate components for some of the biggest names in the consumer market, China also houses a thriving fake goods industry.
After all, long before China made a name for itself as a global leader in trade, its factories were churning out all kinds of forgeries, from B-grade to premium counterfeit items.
Despite being the manufacturing hub for several of the biggest electronic, fashion, and automobile brands in the world, the Chinese counterfeit industry enjoys little to no repercussions from local law enforcement agencies.
A list of fake ID makers based in China have currently ran out of material and equipment. The staff is on leave & orders have been halted until 17th February. These include some of the most popular websites as shown below:
The only fake ID websites which are operating right now are based in South Korea & other offshore locations like Vietnam. These makers ship from multiple locations hence they are not effected by this epidemic.
Additionally, its place as the primary manufacturer for these brands gives it an added advantage in the counterfeit industry. With insider information and trade leaks, China is able to reproduce stunning imitations of original products at a fraction of the price and sometimes even before the original product hits the open market.
The World Trade Organization estimates that as much as 2.5% of the entirety of global trade comes from the sale of counterfeit goods. The monetary value of this percentage amounted to approximately 461 billion USD in 2016 and can be speculated to have increased since that time.
It has also been reported that 78.5% of all counterfeit goods seized on average around the world are manufactured in China.
One of the reasons why the counterfeit industry thrives in China is that a large portion of the country’s economy is dependent on the revenues that come from the export of counterfeit goods. Back in 2006, a report revealed that a total of 8% of the country’s GDP came from counterfeit goods.
It can only be assumed that this number has increased in the ensuing 14 years following advancements in international trade and global connectivity through the internet.
The extent to which the counterfeit industry has rooted itself in the Chinese economy can be observed from the 2012 crackdown of local authorities in northeast China. Following the announcement of the crackdown, an astonishing 90% of stores closed down in the area, drastically affecting the area’s economy. This ultimately led to the retraction of the crackdown and people resumed their business.
How the Outbreak Affects the Industry
The reason for laying out this extensive background for China’s counterfeit market was to help drive in the gravity of what the Coronavirus outbreak means for the industry.
The government-imposed quarantines, increasing public paranoia, and export restrictions are all affecting the flow of all counterfeit goods from China. This includes the fake ID market, which occupies a significant portion of the Chinese counterfeit product industry.
A total of 16 Chinese cities have been put under quarantine since January, some of which are industrial hubs responsible for a lot of exports. This quarantine affects the counterfeit goods and fake ID manufacturers operating in these cities.
A quality fake ID requires sophisticated machinery and a number of other raw materials to reproduce the essential components. These materials need to be purchased by fake ID manufacturers from various sources within China.
As an aftermath of the Coronavirus outbreak and the quarantines, inter-city trade has been restricted. Even in cities that are not under lockdown, public safety concerns detract manufacturers from conducting inter-city trade. Due to the unavailability of critical raw materials, manufacturers find themselves unable to keep the machinery operational.
Another issue that has halted the production of fake IDs is the prevailing public concern pertaining to health and safety. As mentioned earlier in this article, the mass hysteria surrounding the outbreak has pushed a majority of people to be cautious and stay at home.
However, the production of a high-quality fake ID involves considerable effort and is not a one-man job. Therefore, even manufacturers with home setups are unable to continue production with their workforce hesitant to come to work.
Even if fake ID manufacturers in China manage to produce fake IDs, exports from the country have been halted amidst global health concerns. Only fake ID manufacturers in the US and South Korea are still open for business.
As death toll from the outbreak continues to rise, consider this and stay safe. No fake ID or a night of partying is worth risking your well-being and that of your loved ones. During these troubled times, it is important to stay cautious and only select fake ID manufacturers operating in the US and other areas safe from the Coronavirus.
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