Corona remains a major challenge in China

Experiences of Jürgen Schmitz, ERGO China CEO, and Jason Yin, ERGO China Life CEO

People & stories, 16.04.2020

In Germany, the coronavirus measures are still not being loosened significantly. In Wuhan, China, residents have recently been allowed to move more freely than before. However, it is not possible to speak of a complete return to normal life. We asked the CEOs of ERGO China and ERGO China Life about their personal thoughts.

ERGO China CEO, and Jason Yin, ERGO China Life CEO

Jürgen Schmitz, ERGO China CEO, and Jason Yin, ERGO China Life CEO

Jürgen Schmitz, CEO of ERGO China Life, said that the day when the restrictions on mobility for the eleven million residents in Wuhan were lifted was a very encouraging day. "The rest of China has gradually returned to normality and the resumption of work was important for the companies", said Schmitz, who added: "In recent weeks, the health of our employees has been the main focus for us at ERGO China. At the same time, there has been no let-up in pushing ahead with key strategic projects such as entering the Chinese P&C market and joint ventures to establish brokerage companies. "Even under the more difficult conditions, business had to and must continue. Thanks to the impressive commitment of our employees, we have succeeded in doing so."

Time in quarantine unsettling and unpleasant

Jürgen Schmitz left no doubt that the time in quarantine was very unsettling and unpleasant for the people in China until today. "Important parts of our daily life and routines have been massively re-stricted", said the CEO of ERGO China. "I myself have been going through the quarantine, lock-down and still prevailing restrictions in China since the end of January." He had experienced various phases in which it was sometimes not easy to adapt again and again.

"What really helped me the most were new routines that I built into my everyday life," says Jürgen Schmitz. For him, these include taking long walks in the morning and evening, eating a healthy diet and consciously taking more time for things for which there is otherwise little time. Conversations with friends and family are also essential.

Push for digitization in challenging times

Jason Yin, CEO of ERGO China Life, also sees that the pandemic makes it necessary to have an emergency plan - but without losing sight of a better future. During the quarantine period with the family, digitalization has certainly also received an additional boost.

Both in the business and private environment, communication could be fundamentally converted to digital formats for a longer period of time. "Having gone through these challenging times, we will be stronger and more confident to pursue what lies ahead", says Jason Yin.

Not the end of the battle against coronavirus

However, China is still a long way from normality. "Almost all people still wear face masks, tempera-ture is measured regularly, social distance rules still apply," says Jason Yin, describing the situation. It is still advisable to continue to be careful, wash your hands regularly and avoid crowds.

The lifting of the lockdown of Wuhan is by no means the end of the fight against the coronavirus. Jürgen Schmitz is also well aware of that. "In Beijing, there are still some strict preventive measures such as a 14-day quarantine after business trips", explains the CEO of ERGO China. "But we will continue to overcome the difficulties, remain vigilant and protect our employees according to the appropriate guidelines. In the meantime, our sympathy goes out to all our colleagues in Germany and around the world.“


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