Despite Omicron Variant’s less lethal nature, China has continued imposing stricter measures to combat the virus from spreading. These curbs, however, are proving to cause more harm than the pandemic itself.
The auto and tech industries are among the most hit due to the closure of some of the biggest companies. In turn, these stricter restrictions have affected tens of millions of people in the country.
Apple’s supplier Foxconn, Automakers Nio and Xpeng among others dominate the list of the companies affected by the new measures.
Shanghai started reinvigorating stricter Covid-19 curbs late last month after imposing a two-stage lockdown. Authorities also ordered people to work from home which was also accompanied by a suspension of public transit.
According to Reuters, Shanghai, which is at the center of China’s recent COVID surge starting in early March, on Saturday reported a record 3,590 symptomatic cases for April 15, as well as 19,923 asymptomatic cases. The asymptomatic case number was up slightly from 19,872 cases a day earlier.
Shanghai is a center for global transport, manufacturing, finance and trade making the new restrictions more threatening to global supply chains.
Nonetheless, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter reached 27,017.8 billion yuan, up by 4.8 percent year on year over that in the fourth quarter of 2021. By industry, the value-added of the primary industry was 1,095.4 billion yuan, up by 6.0 percent year on year; that of the secondary industry was 10,618.7 billion yuan, up by 5.8 percent; and that of the tertiary industry was 15,303.7 billion yuan, up by 4.0 percent according to data released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics Monday.
The bureau added that the country’s performance was within the reasonable range but “we must be aware that with the domestic and international environment becoming increasingly complicated and uncertain, the economic development is facing significant difficulties and challenges.”