Thai shoppers awaken to new retail landscape as pandemic ebbs

BANGKOK — Retail in Thailand is coming back to life as businesses are allowed to reopen after daily tallies of coronavirus cases have not exceeded single digits for weeks.

But consumers are awakening to a new service industry, one transformed by the strict preventive measures that were put in place to halt the contagion.

The government eased the national lockdown on May 17, allowing department stores, restaurants, supermarkets, beauty salons and other establishments to reopen. But store operators are putting safety first.

Central Retail, a unit of conglomerate Central Group and operator of 23 Central Department Stores nationwide, imposed a

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Hong Kong businesses navigate radically altered security landscape

HONG KONG — After Beijing’s proposals to implement national security legislation in Hong Kong triggered the worst day on the city’s stock market in five years, what caught the eye in following days was the number of businesses offering staunch support for the proposal.

In numerous newspaper ads over the weekend and on Monday, various trade organizations and companies connected to mainland China welcomed the legislation. Among those weighing in were China Merchants Group and China Resources Group, two of the major Hong Kong-based Chinese state-owned conglomerates, and the big four state-owned banks. Messages, mostly written in red ink in

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New retail landscape gives China startups a boost amid pandemic

TOKYO — The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the development and adoption of technology that aid online sales, giving a boost to Chinese startups in fields such as contactless payments and video monitoring.

While Japan, the U.S. and some countries in Europe are still fighting the pandemic, China, from where the outbreak originated, has resumed economic activities. Yet, the previous way of life may no longer be sustainable amid fears of a return of the disease.

Some startups are responding to such changes by hastening their development plans.

Shanghai Ulucu Electronic Technology, founded in 2009, is a pioneer in the field

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Hong Kong’s new labor unions aim to reshape political landscape

HONG KONG — While protests in Hong Kong have quieted as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts public life, some pro-democracy activists have set up new trade unions with the hope of reshaping the city’s political landscape.

Ivan Law Cheuk-yiu, a 28-year-old nurse, is co-founder of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, or HAEA, a new union that has become one of the city’s most prominent. It has about 20,000 members, or 25% of employees at the Hospital Authority, which is responsible for managing the city’s public hospitals.

Law said the idea to form the organization emerged after activists last year called on

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