The major luxury goods mall Beijing SKP, pictured here in 2021, said on Friday it would close, without specifying a reopening date, after the city confirmed three Covid cases in a nearby apartment community.
Qilai Shen | Mayor Bloomberg | fake images
BEIJING – China showed few signs of loosening its zero-Covid control policies as the country continued to battle its worst outbreak in two years.
Some companies have resumed production in Shanghai and northern China. But the capital city of Beijing temporarily closed a large luxury shopping mall and non-essential businesses in one area on Friday to control a continuing rise in cases stemming from the highly transmissible omicron variant.
China’s top leaders said at a meeting on Friday that Covid and the Ukraine crisis have increased challenges and uncertainties for the national economy, according to state media. chinese president Xi Jinping he led the regularly held economic meeting with China’s leaders, known as the Politburo.
The leaders noted the new features of the mutation and said the country should stick to its “proactive covid-zero policy”, state media said.
That implies that Covid policy will not ease any time soon, said Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategic research at China Renaissance. He said the meeting reflects how headwinds to growth are stronger than previously expected, noting that leaders called for more political support for China to meet its GDP target of around 5.5%.
Many investment banks have cut their China GDP forecast, one as low as 3.9%, as a result of new cases and controls of Covid.
Mainland China reported more than 5,600 new confirmed COVID cases with symptoms for Thursday, most as a result of cases in Shanghai that had previously shown no symptoms.
The southeastern metropolis, home to the world’s busiest port, has kept residents mostly on lockdown for more than a month in a bid to control the local outbreak. Other parts of the country, including Beijing, have locked down neighborhoods, conducted mass virus testing and restricted travel in a bid to rein in new spikes in cases.
Beijing reported two new COVID cases without symptoms and 47 with symptoms, similar to the daily count for much of last week. More than 15 other provincial-level regions reported new cases, including the heavy export provinces of Shandong, Guangdong and Zhejiang.
Specific virus control measures may “sacrifice” the comfort of life of some regions and people, affecting the short-term economy of some localities, said Liang Wannian, head of the National Commission of Covid response think tank. Health, at a press conference. Friday.
But that will allow the larger area and number of people to work and live normally, to strike a profitable balance, he said.
Liang described on Friday that the virus situation in Shanghai and Beijing is seeing significant improvement. He said the dynamic zero covid policy does not mean zero infections, as variants like omicron mean authorities cannot guarantee that no cases will appear.
Shanghai has tried to allow some major companies to resume production by publishing a list about two weeks ago of 666 companies that could be given priority to restart work.
Just over a third, or 247, of the companies are foreign-funded businesses, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.
The German automaker Volkswagen and the American electric car company Tesla have resumed production, the ministry said, noting that other foreign companies have applied to join the second batch of whitelisted companies. The ministry said it would do everything possible to ensure the resumption of work.
- American chemical company dupont it said on Thursday that all of its manufacturing facilities in China were operating under normal conditions or in a bubble. Earlier last week, the company said its Shanghai manufacturing sites had yet to resume production.
- German chemical giant BASF said most of its employees in Beijing have been working from home since Monday, and most of its production sites in China, including Shanghai, remain operational, albeit with some reduced production volumes.
- On Monday, German automaker Volkswagen said it had started to resume production at its factory outside Shanghai and that its factories in Changchun, north China, were ramping up production volume. The company did not respond to a request for an update from CNBC on Thursday.
The city of Changchun in the northern province of Jilin began resuming normal operations on Thursday after weeks of lockdown, according to an official announcement.
Getting truck shipments between ports and factories remains a challenge.
Merchants have had to pay more for logistics costs, now about 25% of selling prices, up from 15% to 20% at the start of the pandemic, Diane Wang, founder and president of China’s China site, told CNBC. DHgate e-commerce. . The company mainly works with small Chinese companies that sell abroad.
But with existing inventory, the stay-at-home orders would have to last at least three months to really affect business, he said.
Schools in Beijing were closed on Friday, starting the upcoming Labor Day holiday a day earlier. The last day of the long weekend holiday in China is Wednesday, May 4. Many of the covid cases in the city in the last week have been traced to schools.
Major luxury goods mall Beijing SKP said on Friday it would close, without specifying a reopening date, after the city confirmed three Covid cases in a nearby apartment community. Beijing city government has claimed that department store sales reached 17.7 billion yuan ($2.72 billion) in 2020 to rank first in the world.
State media said gyms, movie theaters and other non-essential businesses in the surrounding area would have to close, while the city conducted mass testing of residents and employees through Tuesday, May 3. The report did not mention stay-at-home orders, but it discouraged people from going out.
Nearby, in an area one metro stop south of the main business hub, local authorities extended a lockdown that began Monday through next Tuesday, May 3. Authorities also widened the scope of the closure area slightly to the south.
The affected areas above are in Beijing’s main business district that began three days of massive testing on Monday.