China's commercial enterprises lost more than 25 billion yuan (3.57 billion U.S. dollars) as a result of the May 12 earthquake, said the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) Thursday.
The quake damaged 51,429 local businesses, including shops and markets, in the southwestern Sichuan Province. Also, 1,212 workers died. These factors caused 20 billion yuan in losses, said Chen Deming, minister of the MOC. Export-oriented enterprises lost 5 billion yuan, he added.
More than 17,000 commercial enterprises are rebuilding, said Chen.
On Wednesday, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission announced that more than 50 major state-run enterprises had quake-related losses of about 30 billion yuan.
As of Thursday at noon, the confirmed death toll had increased by 9,798 from the previous day to 51,151, according to the Information Office of the State Council. Another 288,431 people were injured and 29,328 still missing.
(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2008)