© 2023 Hawaiʻi Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Asia Minute: Shanghai’s lingering lockdown is snarling business

Virus Outbreak China shanghai 042122
Nico de Rouge/AP
Residents and community workers wait with supplies at the entrance to a residential district still under lockdown on Thursday, April 21, 2022, in Shanghai. (AP Photo/Nico de Rouge)

Millions of people in Beijing are going through mass testing this week after an outbreak of COVID cases. Nearly 900 miles away, there’s also COVID testing in Shanghai — which has entered the fourth week of a lingering lockdown.

That’s taking a tremendous toll on residents, but it’s also hitting China’s markets and economy.

Starting Tuesday, every resident of Shanghai will be tested for COVID — again.

Deaths have spiked and cases with symptoms shot up by more than 75% in 24 hours.

The damage to health and daily life in Shanghai is also hitting financial markets.

On Monday, the Shanghai Composite Index slumped more than 5% — its worst one-day sell-off in more than two years.

Down about 20% this calendar year, the Shanghai Composite is the worst-performing major index in Asia.

Despite Shanghai’s lockdown, some factories have stayed open by maintaining “COVID bubbles” where workers eat, sleep and stay at a plant, rather than going home.

Other facilities have closed.

Last week, Chinese officials said they would help more than 600 companies resume operations.

One of them is Tesla — which re-started some production last week in a phased re-opening.

The Wall Street Journal reports the city government requires each worker to be tested for COVID twice a day.

And it’s not just the factories. Port facilities and truck traffic have been disrupted.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce says multinational companies in Shanghai are dealing with a “logistical nightmare” and the chamber expects it to last at least through mid-May.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
Related Stories