Is China Locking Everyone Down Yet Again?

China just can’t get away from lockdowns, it seems.

The city of Yiwu, a major manufacturing center, is undergoing a “quasi lockdown” after four fresh cases of COVID were detected on August 2. Schools, cinemas, bars, and other indoor gathering places have been closed until further notice. Additionally, outsiders are being highly discouraged against visiting the city “unless necessary”.

The ban on outsiders is particularly disruptive to Yiwu’s economy, which is home to a number of manufacturers and exporters, as well as being a prime e-commerce hub.

Yiwu, which is also a Chinese e-commerce and livestreaming base, has been hard hit by China’s strict Covid-19 control measures. Prior to the pandemic, about 560,000 overseas merchants visited Yiwu every year to talk business deals and place orders, but this flow dried up after China closed its borders. Zhang Yaoyao, a suitcase merchant in Yiwu, was quoted by Jinhua Daily as saying that it was impossible for clients to visit the city currently.

These temporary lockdowns are having a permanent impact on Yiwu’s ability to do business. Zero COVID now will result in Yiwu having zero customers later on.