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What China’s Pollution Says About Coronavirus and the Economy | WSJ

March 11, 2020

– [Narrator] This is China
covered in pollution last year. But this year the skies are clear, that’s because the coronavirus epidemic had brought much of the
country to a standstill for several weeks causing
a huge drop in pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, a harmful gas that’s emitted
when burning fossil fuel. Compared to previous years
it’s below typical levels. – If you close down factories
or reducing the amount of cars on the road you’re going to reduce the pollution levels. And from that we can deduce
that the economic activity has been decreased. – [Narrator] In early
February Chinese president, Xi Jinping publicly
declared a people’s war against the virus, that extreme measures like
shutdowns have prevented people from returning to work where necessary. But he also cautioned that those efforts should not jeopardize
economic development. Now a dramatic change in pollution
over the country suggests that striking that balance
could be difficult. In the past few decades China has grown to become the world’s
largest coal consumer. Its large manufacturing-based
economy burns 95% of the country’s coal, making it the world’s biggest
emitter of greenhouse gasses. Usually during the Lunar New
Year most industries wind down for a week and power plants
burn a lot less coal. Coal consumption usually rebounds
after the week-long break which means pollution levels pick up too. – Because the levels of nitrogen dioxide in China are so high we can
easily detect that from space. – [Narrator] This is what Wuhan, the epicenter of the
coronavirus usually looks like after the holiday. The city is a key producer of automobiles, electronics and heavy machinery. But this year the demand for coal hasn’t immediately
rebounded since many workers have been stranded at home
in locked down cities, and nitrogen dioxide levels have dipped. It’s not just Wuhan, it’s the same when you look at other industrial powerhouses in China. This is what Shandong and
Hebei usually look like after the holiday. They’re know for churning out everything from textiles and metals
to petrochemicals. But this year they also weren’t spared from the impact of the epidemic. While skies were clear
in many parts of China, some cities like Beijing
are still shrouded in smog. The city has recorded high
levels of air pollutants. These fine particles are created during the chemical
reaction of gasses generated from burning fuel. Heating systems in Beijing’s geography can affect this reading. But there’s one huge source of pollution that can’t be missed, major steel makers around the
capital don’t stop production during the holiday because
going offline is costlier than running all year round. So during the city shutdown
some factories continue to produce steel. Li Hongmei is an analyst who tracks the Chinese metal industry. – Because of the outbreak
all the normal pattern has been broken so the
construction sites are still in the process of resuming work, that’s why their steel
consumption slow down and delayed. – [Narrator] Steel inventories
are now at record high levels because buyers in the
construction industry are demanding less right now. Home sales were already
cooling before the virus, now they’re below last year levels. – Whenever you’re not so sure
about your national economy you’re not so sure
about your job security, about your income. People definitely will
be reducing expenditure in a investment. – [Narrator] In recent days
Xi has been touting efforts to meet economic targets
while containing the virus, like heavy stimulus to
support banks and tax cuts for small businesses. But analysts say it’s not
clear whether these measures can help make up for lost ground. Some factories are slowly
resuming production. – So pollution levels that
we’re observing from space are beginning to increase
which may indicate that economic activity could be resuming. – [Narrator] Beijing recently
put out the first full month of economic data after
the virus hit China. The index tracks business
sentiment among manufacturing and service sectors and it falls below the lowest level recorded during the global financial crisis. An increase in the number
of infections overseas could also put China’s
economy at greater risk, complicating efforts to
meet Xi’s economic goals for this year. For now, one of the
most visible indicators to see how it all plays out might be just to look up at the skies. (relaxing music)


  • Reply El Canal de Rebeca March 11, 2020 at 4:01 pm


  • Reply Parx March 11, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Comment number 1

  • Reply dan cash March 11, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Well we can't trust China and why would we?

  • Reply A1DHP March 11, 2020 at 4:02 pm


  • Reply A1DHP March 11, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Apparently, coronavirus is dangerous enough to cancel all things fun but not dangerous enough to cancel work

  • Reply MattoBurrito Birb March 11, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    This is not mama mia

  • Reply Harun Samuel Situmeang March 11, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    So The virus has done more in couple months than Greta did

  • Reply The Medical Alecca Show March 11, 2020 at 4:05 pm


  • Reply All Mighty Ass March 11, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    China should stop deveroping its ecoromy

  • Reply Tony Faxton March 11, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you China for giving us, the pollution and deadly virus. Oh by the way, just loving your state media talking about how wonderful Xi is. We heard that Mr. Xi saved the world with the coronavirus control? There are reasons why Chinese are hated so much.

  • Reply All Mighty Ass March 11, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you coronavirus fo not retting China deverop its ecoromy

  • Reply 天吉Mark March 11, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Damn, Wall Street Journal up their game against CNBC. nice.

    now that the flu has spread across the globe, i guess we could see clearer skies elsewhere too.

  • Reply S H March 11, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Is WSJ gonna do a similar video for Europe?

  • Reply soul blues March 11, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    if you guys stop buying chinese goods it will also be like this , so why not?

  • Reply Lenard Regencia March 11, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    You can't spell Global Supply Chain without the word "C-H-I-N-A".

  • Reply Applico March 11, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    When tracking air quality from space is a more reliable indicator than information released by China… 🤷‍♀️

  • Reply Mickael Dogrdan March 11, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    I hope they stop interefering and invading south East Asia too… Our country is getting hotter and polluted too

  • Reply me it's March 11, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Should china stop buying oil from USA and stop provide low cost factory labour to support USA companies to lower the pollution?

  • Reply Milanta Rika March 11, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    I- I'm not sure what I should feel and do with this information

  • Reply Hoss Gardner March 11, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Its because of the Communist Party that Corona came out in the first place. Their stupid policies led to Corona virus. Study the history. China is the worst polluter on the planet. Here that Climate Change people? China is the world's worst polluter. No more excuses, pollution, diseases, no more exceptions for China. GET DOWN ON CHINA! Stop blaming the U.S. It's not us, its CHINA. They don't have pollution controls like we do in the United States.

  • Reply China Inside March 11, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    I am a Chinese who embraces democratic values , I post the objective reality I see in China on this channel.

  • Reply Joe Gazaway March 11, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    nice content it was really entertaining

  • Reply Joe Gazaway March 11, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    amazing content bro

  • Reply Jiacheng Yao March 11, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Hi WSJ, great video. I have a question about the Manufacturing PMI you showed at 4:08. It reads 35.7. But the data from Trading Economics currently for February is 40.3. Could you tell me where this discrepancy comes from? Or are you actually showing Business Confidence instead of Manufacturing PMI? Because there the data actually matches your graph. Thanks.

  • Reply lucas LIAO March 11, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    what you expect to happen to making the video?

  • Reply Saidul March 11, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    So there are some positive about corona virus

  • Reply D Back March 11, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    Nitrogen dioxide presence from their crematories to hide the truth

  • Reply Miami305 March 11, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Great content 👏🏾

  • Reply The Cat That Has Seen Everything March 11, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Yes Corona Virus save the world

  • Reply Giuseppe Maccarrone March 11, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Covid-19 could kill some men, but could actually save humanity.

  • Reply TJ Tampa March 11, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    So economics drives carbon pollution.

  • Reply 杨建炜 March 11, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    That’s why electric car are needed in China , buy Tesla, Nio stock now !

  • Reply That one dude March 11, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    "Don't trust China! China is A$$Hoe!"

  • Reply Serious Stuff March 11, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Better Call Saul 5×3 The ant army on Ice Cream

  • Reply 旮旯北京 March 11, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    China's pollution spiking is telling the world that I'll be back

  • Reply YouTube deleted my comments repeatedly! March 11, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Why are there so much pollution in China? Because it is the world's factory. Pollution is left in China, but the products are used by the world. No matter where you are, as long as that region has a lot of factories, there is pollution. If these factories move out of China, there will be more pollution generated because I do not see other countries have China's efficiency of producing goods.

  • Reply Thupten Tom March 11, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Karma is punishing the ruthless

  • Reply CagedLadie March 11, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Gee can't close the hole above them. Dare you to test all water near it. The chemicals you'll find would be enough to do the job without even holding the CCP and those who allowed it in to trade to be accountable. Either way. Yea

    Don't let them play victim WSJ. Oh no Confucius – can't change the stripes on that tiger. Maybe some fish can recover too.

  • Reply Richard Thomas March 11, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    WSJ,FOX same show different day

  • Reply sh k March 11, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    China is world virus.

  • Reply Greg Grisham March 11, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Not economic activities ,but human slavery pacified by TRAITORS who evil as normality

  • Reply sewagii March 11, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    Earth is beating back!

  • Reply james wright March 11, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Corona virus evolved in bats. Corona virus evolved in bat caves.
    Do not live in a bat cave! [your shut up house, office etc]
    Bat caves are dark, humid, under ventilated, and cool.
    Your home is
    dark – your curtains are always closed
    humid – most areas are humid – Texas is always around 90% humidity
    under ventilated – you always keep your windows closed
    cool – your HVAC system is always at around 68 degrees F [?C]
    open your curtains and keep them open
    good luck with the humidity – a dehumidifier may help – but keep it clean with alcohol – and it may be most useful in rooms that do not have windows.  Do not use your dehumidifier in rooms with open windows.
    open your windows and encourage air flow – perhaps with fans
    turn off your HVAC – totally! – assuming you can handle the heat – when you can no longer do so – go back inside and turn the HVAC back on – be safe – if you need to do this try to get exposure to sunlight at times of the day when it is least hot
    Yes, buy a tent and start living in it.
    Ultraviolet Radiation is an outstanding source of anti-viral energy. Where is the highest concentration and availability of UV? Outside!
    Being outside will affect this virus by:
    UV will kill it as it does all viruses – with prolonged exposure
    Air flow will remove this virus from your area when it becomes airborne [already is – but not yet acceptable to talk about that]
    Air flow will disperse any output during a cough
    When the virus falls to deck – it will land in grass etc – it will be more difficult for the virus to elevate up to the level of your hands [hanging 3 feet closer to the ground than your mouth] because of entanglement on flora – and will probably be blown away before it gets to you – if it does land on you, it will be exposed to the UV radiation. 
    – – – – Washing your hands is irrelevant with this virus! This virus can live on your floor for up to 9 DAYS! NOT HOURS – DAYS! Your hands will be reinfected with every step you take. You will have to rewash them every time you stop – only that they may be reinfected as the air current redeposits the virus onto your hands. This cycle is unbeatable with hand washing! Washing your hands will ONLY create a false sense of safety.
    – – – – Instead – GET OUTSIDE AND EXPOSE THEM TO THE SUNLIGHT ! Being circulated in an air stream around you will mean that this virus is being exposed to the sunlight – and killed – before getting onto your hands!
    – – – – Hand washing = useless!
    – – – – Hand exposure to UV radiation [ aka sunlight ] = disinfecting – This will be most successful if you are living in your tent / campsite as your hands, face, and other exposed areas will be under a constant source of UV.  
    Do not spend all of your time in your tent. Establish a little campsite. Read a book.
    Medical tried hand washing during the pandemic in 1918.  It did not work. 
    Current medical is washing hands religiously – and are still getting infected.
    The pandemic stopped in 1918 after Medical had so many patients that they had to put them into wheel chairs on the front lawns of hospitals.  They also had to open the curtains to see the rooms that needed to be cleaned.  That is when the Spanish Flu began to die.
    Remember also, they did not have antibiotics in 1918.  Penicillin was discovered – by accident – during World War 2 [1940's]
    Exposing the interior of your home to the UV radiation of sunlight will kill the virus that has taken up residence on your floor. – It takes hours of exposure to do this.
    Using fans to move the air inside your home will cause it to pass into zones where light is entering through your windows. This will kill the virus.
    Good luck with the humidity.
    Having turned off the HVAC system will reduce the depth of penetration this virus will enjoy – there will nothing to suck the virus into your ducts.
    Entering your home to access your refrigerator, toilet etc will be mitigated by going back outside. UV exposure will kill anything you picked up. Establish a small campsite. Buy a grill, and grill outdoors. Do not waste time in your bat cave.
    I recommend doing this during surges in "RECOVERY." When your community appears to be "recovering" with decreases in cases – plan to spend 2 weeks in your tent during those phases. 
    You will want to spend much more time than that [eg all summer starting as soon as possible] – but definitely stay in your tent / campsite even when there is no apparent spread of the virus. That lull = the calm before the storm = the virus will be reasserting itself.
    Where did I get this idea?
    How did the medical establishment react to the 1918 Spanish Flu?
    Solariums and Sanitariums
    They built environments which had a lot of glass with window access to patient areas. They knew UV is antiviral.
    They took their patients – in their wheel chairs – out to sit on the front lawns of the hospitals.
    They went outside – got out of their bat caves – and the pandemic ended soon thereafter.
    PS – And buy a bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol that you may inhale the fumes. The only thing we know kills this virus post ingestion is 70%+ concentration of alcohol. The virus is in the lungs. How do we get the alcohol into the lungs? An Alcohol Inhaler!
    Remember, doctors have patients inhale alcohol to ward off nausea. Patients who are close to fainting [eg delivering mothers] are often given an alcohol pad to inhale. ……
    Inhaling high concentration alcohol – in low quantities – may present a healthcare risk [which is why the bottle disclaimer says to not inhale it] – however, it is better than covid-19. Doctors should research this treatment modality to determine proper dosing and scheduling. It is not ideal, but, without medications [China – India supply lines are shut down] – this treatment may be one's only option.
    Drinking alcohol in quantities which raise the blood alcohol level just a few points will be enough to kill you by alcohol intoxication.  If you are going to drink alcohol – do not drink more than a few glasses of wine.
    Buy your decongestants now. You are going to need them.  
    Assuming you can safely do so, start eating hot peppers.  They have a chemical called Capsaicin that activates the mucosal membranes causing them to flush.  Do your eyes water when you eat jalapeno?  The transmission vector for this virus is through the mucosal membranes.  Try to interrupt that vector by flushing it.
    Doctors – can you combine a ventilator O2 introduction with an infusion of high concentration low volume aerosolized alcohol?  Perhaps hold that in the lungs for such time as is necessary to destroy the virus?  Would tipping the head of the patient's bed below the level of the feet help?  Remember, inversion therapy helps the bats.
    Doctors need to get off the hope of a vaccine.  Vaccines only work to prevent last year's version of a virus.  There is no last year's version of this.  A vaccine will not help those who are infected.
    INSTEAD – Enhance current T-cell based cancer treatments and program a T-cell to attack this virus's genetics.  Create an "assassin cell."
    James Anthony Wright

  • Reply ThaiEgho March 11, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    0:38 He is wearing his mask upside-down hahah

  • Reply Carl Johnson March 11, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Just one of the many benefits of the pandemic.

  • Reply manny1988fyi March 11, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Virus is a way the earth is fighting back

  • Reply Angel Dust March 11, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    China has Destroyed their Country's Environment and LAND! Now they want to Conquer Africa and Destroy this Land and their PEOPLE!

  • Reply pengusaha muslim March 11, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    high impact

  • Reply Buttercookie Cinnamini March 11, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    Seems staged and fake now!! Why their nasty azzes don't have to pay all these countries for being gross????? Destroying economies. So that's what this all about!!!

  • Reply TANUJ ADITYA March 11, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Time is running where China must select culture Capital instead production

  • Reply Avinash Francis March 11, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

    This calamity is nature’s reaction to humans.

  • Reply Achwaq Khalid March 11, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Conclusion: Once there are no humans around the planet feels good 🌍


  • Reply Steve Law March 11, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    let me sum up for you: DAH
    China growing economy – WSJ: China is polluting;
    China Containing Virus – WSJ: China is collapsing because it's no longer polluting;
    it's true that WSJ is not falsifying. WSJ is still spreading misinformation built upon boring and broken stories – half of the video is about past pollution and half is about common sense, of course factories will halt, look at Italy, the Asian interviewee's face can't just prove the practicality of her words. WSJ is linking up irrelevant threads and making up conspiracy.
    If you want to talk about pollution, seriously, why not use another video and dive into historical emission and emission per capita?
    WSJ you are just scared of what you are not familiar with. Learn something otherwise your expelled reporters were totally wasted.

  • Reply The Last Spartan March 11, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    … no planet no species, then again such is not a bad result, for the most parts, Chiner polluted over 50.2+% of the Earths atmosphere over the course of 50+ years with 'manufacturing'… how many people need a plastic pos in every color imaginable, girls… shitters, not cutters, not builders, never have been never will be…

  • Reply More Complex March 11, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Lots of things cause market "corrections" . Capitalism accepts that every 4-7 years there will be a market drop…300 years and counting….Capitalism requires big government…… If not corona then oil squabbles or Trump dies in office or

  • Reply More Complex March 11, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Lots of things cause market "corrections" . Capitalism accepts that every 4-7 years there will be a market drop…300 years and counting….Capitalism requires big government…… If not corona then oil squabbles or Trump dies in office or

  • Reply More Complex March 11, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Lots of things cause market "corrections" . Capitalism accepts that every 4-7 years there will be a market drop…300 years and counting….Capitalism requires big government…… If not corona then oil squabbles or Trump dies in office or

  • Reply Team Optimistic March 11, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    Summation: There dirty air is blowing all over the world.

    Balance: They aren't willing to change (not soon)

    Effect: another pandemic will pop up somewhere more at risk (depleted forest of Brazil and Australia). Hopefully not 📿📿

  • Reply Erik S March 11, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    0:22 its not that dramatic if you see these graphs.

    The huge difference can be found in the period before and the one after chinese new year…

    Why is this actually? End of year industry peaks or…? (btw… nice short documentary)

  • Reply bambizzle24 March 11, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Humans is earth disease. Corona virus is just earths medicine

  • Reply White Tara March 11, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    USA next. Probably worse with no testing strategy yet.

  • Reply brianl9944 March 11, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    China's best export ever: Covid-19

  • Reply Erik S March 11, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    There is a saying that a butterfly can create a hurricane (in weather models)

    Well… in real-life you see one bat bring the world economy to its knees.
    (the bat with that transmitted the virus on the Wuhan fish market)

  • Reply chaos theory March 11, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Hypertension = high covid19 DEATH RISK. Pollution in China's large cities equivalent to smoking 4 PACKS of cigarettes a day. Cigarettes = hypertension + lung damage. Many smokers in China. EMFs trigger voltage gated calcium channels leads to hypertension. Wuhan, Princess cruise lines, and Iran high EMF exposure via 5G.=Dominoes. Know risk factors.

    Why is Covid 19 move deadly to the Chinese?

    5G and Coronavirus in Wuhan, Iran, health effects.

  • Reply Mayank Singh March 11, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Is coronavirus a key for stopping climate change ? 😆😅

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