Authorities have been providing free food to households, but some have said their supplies are running low or that they had yet to receive aid. Videos and photos on social media site Weibo showed people exchanging cigarettes for cabbage, dishwashing liquid for apples, and sanitary pads for a small pile of vegetables. One video showed a resident appearing to trade his Nintendo Switch console for a packet of instant noodles and two steamed buns.
"People are swapping stuff with others in the same building, because they no longer have enough food to eat," a resident surnamed Wang told Radio Free Asia. The news outlet also reported that another man had wanted to trade a smartphone and tablet for rice.