China’s COVID-19 restrictions forced the closure of Disney’s Shanghai resort today, while production of Apple Inc. iPhones in a massive contract manufacturing facility could drop by 30 percent next month due to coronavirus restrictions, a source told Reuters.
Rising numbers of cases from numerous outbreaks across China have led to a tightening of local curbs and closures, including in parts of major cities such as the southern metropolis of Guangzhou, as the economic toll of the country’s zero-COVID policy mounts.
Data released today showed that Chinese manufacturing activity fell unexpectedly in October, swept by dwindling global demand and strict domestic COVID-19 restrictions, which hit manufacturing, travel and shipping in the world’s second-largest economy.
“With the zero-COVID policy staying here, we think the economy will continue to struggle in 2023,” Zichun Huang, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a research paper.
At this month’s bi-decade congress of the Communist Party, President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s commitment to its zero-COVID policy, disappointing investors and countless Chinese frustrated by lockdowns, travel restrictions and testing.
“We don’t expect the zero-COVID policy to be abandoned until 2024, which means virus disruptions will curb personal services activity,” said Capital Economics’ Huang.
In the central city of Zhengzhou, a Foxconn factory that makes iPhones and employs about 200,000 people has been shaken by dissatisfaction with strict measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
A person with direct knowledge of the matter said factory iPhone production could fall by as much as 30 percent in November, and Taiwan-based Foxconn, formally Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, is working to increase production at a factory in Shenzhen to make up the shortfall.
In Shanghai, the city’s Disney Resort abruptly suspended operations today to comply with COVID-19 prevention measures, requiring all visitors to stay in the park at the time of the announcement until they returned a negative test for the virus.
Videos circulating on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, which could not be independently verified, showed people rushing to the park’s gates, which were already locked. Videos of people fleeing malls and office buildings for fear of being locked up have become commonplace on Chinese social media this year.
New cases in mainland China reached 2,898 yesterday, more than 2,000 for a second day in a row, a small number by global standards.
In Guangzhou, one of China’s largest cities and an economic powerhouse, the number of new locally transmitted cases from October 24-30 totaled 1,110, up from 402 in the previous seven-day period, with Haizhu district home to 1 .8 million people, locked.
A Guangzhou resident named Ye said he was at a suburban quarantine hotel after being told on Oct. 27 that he was considered a close contact because he was on the same street at about the same time three days earlier. someone who tested positive.
“I don’t know how they calculated that. Nor is there room for you to question or dispute it. If they say you are, then that’s final,” said Ye, an artist in his 50s.
Over the past week, authorities have rushed to get a handle on rising cases in cities across China, including Datong, Xining, Nanjing, Xian, Zhengzhou and Wuhan, forcing temporary lockdown measures.
Du Fan, 40, founder of Wuhan Small Animals Protection Association, which garnered praise from animal lovers during the initial lockdown of the pandemic in the central city in early 2020, said his housing complex was closed on Saturday.
“My biggest concern at the moment is that if this goes on too much longer, I’m afraid we won’t be able to continue saving the animals because there’s no way to do a lot of work,” he said.
In the China-controlled area of Macau, authorities have reinstated curbs, including closing a major casino over the weekend after a handful of cases were discovered. Macau had been COVID-free for more than three months.
However, in Beijing, the Universal Resort theme park reopened on Monday after being closed last week because a visitor had tested positive for coronavirus.
According to local media, Mudanjiang has extended a number of areas in Heilongjiang province, bordering North Korea. Dandong, Suihua, Ruili – cities bordering North Korea, Russia and Myanmar respectively – are also dealing with outbreaks.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)