tirsdag 26. april 2022

Fast, precise, too tough? Lockdowns risk stalling China’s economy

Veteran lorry driver Meng Hong has become an unlikely social media star in recent weeks. Since March, his short video talks about life on the road during Covid outbreaks on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, have won him millions of likes.

Most of Meng’s videos had been about “spreading positive energy” as he wrote in his account description. But on 13 April, he began to complain about what happened when drivers transported goods to Shanghai. “After we have delivered food, we were quarantined [after we left] or locked down in Shanghai,” he revealed in an animated video tirade.

As China’s most populous city entered a strict lockdown this month, local governments in neighbouring areas erected roadblocks and closed highways to curb potential spread of Omicron, leaving logistics chains woefully disrupted. “As long as you have had a trip to Shanghai, very few other cities would allow you to enter,” Meng complained. Drivers were now refusing to go there, he reported.