Fast-forward less than a month, domestic orders are picking up and factories across China are humming at close to capacity. But Rifeng Enterprise Group now has new concerns.

A form of the lockdown that paralysed China is now being replicated in many parts of the world, as countries try to get a handle on the rampant spread of a coronavirus pandemic that is hacking at the lifeblood of the global economy.

“We’ve returned to 100 per cent capacity for overseas demand, but sadly the market is either shutting, or about to shut,” said Jason Cheng, general manager of Rifeng’s overseas business, adding clients in France, Italy and the United States have made requests to delay payments or cancel orders.

“We had a similar situation in 2008 and 2009, where overseas revenue was half of what it was in the previous year,” Cheng said. “A similar story is going to happen now, I am very sure.”