Coronavirus results in mini booms for pharma, online education sectors

Coronavirus may be wreaking havoc across the globe with epidemic proportions of spread and spooking the stock markets, portending a global recession. But there are also silver lines as some sectors stand to gain out of it.

The coronavirus has resulted in mini booms for China pharmaceuticals doing vaccines, online education and online games, whilst causing share prices of hospitality and travel to drop, according to the Hurun Global Richlist which tracked the wealth of the billionaires.

With schools shut since Chinese New Year, online education provider Chen Xiangdong (US$4.7bn) of Genshuixue saw his share price rise by a third since end January, and market leader Zhang Bangxin (US$10.4bn) of TAL Education also rising. It has also been reported that many universities in China, which draws large number of medical students especially from countries like India, have decided to run this semester through online coaching. Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus is also home to many universities.

With much of China stuck at home in lockdown, entertainment has been in strong demand, resulting in strong performances from online game companies, including Wu Xushun (US$2.4bn) of 37 Interactive Entertainment, up 29%, Chu Yufeng (US$5.1bn) of Perfect World up 17%, Lin Qi (US$1.2bn) of Yoozoo, up 8%, as well as Robin Li of Baidu, whose online video platform iQiyi rose 8%, it said.

Healthcare entrepreneurs specialising in vaccinations that performed solidly include An Kang (US$4.2bn) of Hualan Biological Engineering, which was up 23%, Du Weimin (US$4.7bn) of Biokangtai, up 15% and Jiang Rensheng (US$8.8bn) of Zhifei Biological Products, which was up 8%.

On the other hand, industries that have suffered include hospitality and travel companies, including Zhang Yong of restaurant brand Haidilao, down 12%, Wang Xing of delivery platform Meituan-Dianping, down 15% and all the airline entrepreneurs.


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