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Business Spotlight

Virus hits China's economic heart -- its small businesses

Over 85% expect to run out of cash within three months

NIKKI SUN, Nikkei staff writer | Hong Kong

HONG KONG -- When Danny Lau reopened his aluminum facade panel factory in China's southern city of Dongguan last week, after an extended Lunar New Year break, less than a third of its roughly 200 migrant workers showed up.

"They couldn't make their way back," the Hong Kong businessman said. Most of his workers hail from central-western China, including 11 from Hubei Province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 2,000 people. Many said they had been banned from leaving their villages as authorities race to contain the epidemic.

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