China: Covid lockdowns return to key port cities

Covid lockdowns are being imposed in China again. Residential areas in key port cities such as Shenzhen and Dalian were closed off again this week, and mass testing is underway at other important maritime gateways, including Tianjin.

China’s zero-Covid policy has stretched global supply chains a great deal this year. The difference today is that while outbreaks have been getting more widespread in the last fortnight, lockdowns are pursued neighborhood by neighborhood rather than city-wide. Also, quarantine times have been cut back since the middle of June.

At a news conference Monday, Shenzhen officials said the latest outbreak is mainly driven by new subvariant Omicron BF.15, which they said is more transmittable and harder to detect.

As a result of all this, nearly a quarter of European companies in China are considering shifting their investments out of the country thanks in large part to the nation’s strict covid policies, results from a survey released in June by the EU Chamber of Commerce in China said. Similar sentiment was echoed in other reports from American and British chambers of commerce.


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