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China’s Largest Cities Are Back on High Alert

COVID-19 cases in Shanghai and Beijing have the government enforcing new restrictions, according to Reuters.

  • Shanghai: A strict two-month lockdown recently ended in Shanghai, but a new outbreak has led to a fresh lockdown of the Minhang District, which is home to more than 2 million people. News of the Minhang lockdown sent Chinese stocks tumbling.
  • Beijing: Beijing’s most populous district, Chaoyang, ordered the shutdown of entertainment venues and internet cafes in response to new COVID-19 cases. Like Shanghai, Beijing had recently eased up on its COVID-19 restrictions.

Uncertainty: In May, authorities relaxed some COVID-19 restrictions in response to lower case counts, and China’s exports grew at a double-digit pace, but the government’s zero-COVID-19 policy is keeping people and businesses on edge.

  • “The business climate is not positive because despite the fact that the cities opened, there is still the problem of the zero-COVID policy,” said Christophe Lauras, president of the French Chamber of Commerce in China. “That is to say that every morning people don’t know if they’ll be locked down.”

Mass testing: In Shanghai, nucleic acid tests will be administered to every resident of the Minhang District. Local authorities have also ordered many Shanghai residents to two days of confinement and a 12-day testing schedule.

Slow growth: COVID-19 lockdowns have slowed down Chinese economic growth and led to global delays on important Chinese exports. 

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