Based on a nationally representative survey on SMEs in China, we study the impact of government policy interventions on SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings are three-fold. First, regional and local lock-down policies decrease SMEs' incidence of reopening and delay their expected reopening in the near future, likely by reducing consumer demand. Second, stabilization policies in the form of payment deferrals and exemptions significantly improve SMEs' cash flows and further stimulate their operational recovery.
By matching data on land transactions in China’s primary land market with detailed curriculum-vitae of board directors in publicly listed firms, we identify a pattern of “revolving door” exchanges between local officials and firms. The officials discounted the price of land which they sold to the said firms, and were subsequently rewarded with board appointments upon retirement.