China shuts down world’s biggest electronics market as Shenzhen imposes more lockdowns
Huaqiangbei, a bustling commercial area with thousands of stalls selling computer components, cellphone parts and microchips, is among three neighborhoods under a mandatory four-day lockdown in Futian District, according to the county government.
Residents of these neighborhoods are prohibited from leaving their homes, except for Covid tests, which they are required to undergo daily until Thursday.
All businesses in the affected areas are closed until Thursday, except for supermarkets, pharmacies and hospitals. Restaurant meals are also suspended, with only take-out allowed.
China is one of the last places in the world to enforce strict zero-Covid measures, which rely on extensive digital surveillance, mass testing, extensive quarantines and instant lockdowns.
On Tuesday, Shenzhen, an international tech hub of 18 million people, reported just 35 infections, including 11 asymptomatic cases.
Luohu and Longgang districts also closed all entertainment venues and public parks, and banned gatherings ranging from lectures and performances to square dancing.
“The coming period will be the most stressful, risky and darkest period for epidemic prevention and control in our city,” a Shenzhen official said at the press conference.
Epidemics across China
China’s zero-Covid strategy has faced increasing challenges from the highly infectious variant of Omicron, with large swaths of the country under continued lockdowns and daily testing.
Endless restrictions have disrupted daily life and dealt a severe blow to the slowing economy. In July, youth unemployment in China hit an all-time high, with one in five young people out of work.
Amid fears of a prolonged citywide lockdown, Chengdu residents rushed to buy groceries and daily necessities from supermarkets.
In Shijiazhuang, the capital of northern China’s Hebei province, authorities suspended public transport across the city over the weekend after 30 infections were found during mass testing. The city has 11 million inhabitants.
In the northern port city of Tianjin, 20 infections were reported after citywide testing on Friday.