The Guandong provincial government reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 in the city of Shenzhen. In order to reinforce the zero COVID policy, authorities ordered a total shutdown of some districts, including Huaqiangbei District, one of the largest electronics markets in the world. How will it impact local and international supply chains?
The Shenzhen local government announced a total shutdown starting Monday, August 29, until September 1. Subway service will also be closed.
As reported by Huaqiang Electronics World, merchants in the district woke up on Monday to the notice that the area would be closed until Thursday. Employees and traders must abide by the order to work from home and undergo a nucleic acid test every day.
Huaqiangbei Electronics World is a well-known electronics mall in China, one of the largest in the country. There are thousands of businesses selling chips, computer components, notebooks, and other electronic components.
The shutdown of business is part of a series of broader measures that the Shenzhen government initiated on Monday, including the closure of five other sub-districts including malls in Futian and Luohu.
According to Reuters, local officials confirmed the total shutdown in three business buildings in Huaqianbei district, and no one was allowed to go to work. In addition, they claimed that the Shenzhen government closed 24 subway stations in Futian and Luohu district.
In Futian, the government ordered the total closure of movie theaters, karaoke bars, and the cancellation of public events until September 2.
Prolonged and periodic closures, the “stay at home” order, and the cancellation of public transportation has hurt Shenzhen, known as the new Chinese “Silicon Valley.” Dozens of start-ups chose Shenzhen for business development and since the onset of the pandemic, along with the zero COVID policy measures, several of them have been struggling to survive. A lack of cash coupled with shortages of electronic components needed to assemble prototypes has severely hit the growth and development of projects.
Shenzhen, with a population of nearly 18 million, reported 11 new local cases on the August 28, and two were asymptomatic.
Local authorities ordered the closure of all businesses in the affected areas, except essential businesses such as supermarkets, restaurants, and pharmacies. Restaurants can only offer takeout food, and cannot receive customers. Only one person per household can go out to shop for food and medicine.
COVID-19 testing has become a new routine for everyone in Shenzhen, with most government offices and public places requiring a COVID test every 48 hours for entry, or every 24 hours in areas considered high-risk.
The Wanxia neighborhood, an area known for providing cheap housing for thousands of low-wage workers such as deliverymen and laborers, was barricaded as a COVID-19 prevention measure, although no positive cases had been reported.
Shenzhen’s total shutdown, a role model for all of China?
With nearly 18 million inhabitants, the closures of Shenzhen and other measures by the Chinese Communist Party’s COVID policy led to extreme despair for many citizens. However, for the government, the strategy carried out in the city is a “role model” for the rest of the country.
Since March, videos have been circulating on social networks showing desperate citizens begging for food, water, and medicine, begging for someone to help them not starve to death.
NTDTV reported that on March 20 some residents came out to protest with pots and pans over the lack of support from the local government and the constant disruption of their daily lives due to the COVID policy.
Chinese internet users posted alarming videos showing people shouting for food and water from the rooftops of their homes. One video that went viral revealed the moment a woman jumped into the void, in full view of her neighbors. On March 23, a Shenzhen citizen claimed to Sound of Hope, an overseas Chinese media outlet, that the unidentified woman’s suicide occurred on March 21. “My husband witnessed it,” she said. “It was probably around 10 or 11 in the morning. A lot of people gathered there after the incident took place, and so did the police.”
In this video, a large number of police officers are seen trying to keep an angry crowd under control. They were protesting the death of a resident who died of starvation during the lockdown.
Shouting can be heard from the crowd, “We have no food! We have no food!”
China reported 1,696 new COVID-19 infections on August 28, of which 352 were symptomatic and 1,344 asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on August 29.
However, according to several experts in China, the CCP has been concealing the actual number of COVID-19 infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Gordon Chang, an author and China expert, said in an interview with Fox News, “The low numbers of infections and deaths support the Communist Party’s narrative that their methods of dealing with the coronavirus are superior to those of the United States and other countries.” He added, “And this in turn fits with their narrative that their way of governing is superior to democracy.”
“I’m sure those numbers understate the cases that are going on in China right now,” Chang told Fox News.
“The Communist Party is using its strategy against the coronavirus to spread its influence in the world,” he warned, “and that means infections and deaths are extremely political right now.”