As China expands its Covid lockdowns – the country’s largest since the outbreak began – multinational corporations have paused some activities.
As officials report unprecedented numbers of cases, tens of millions of people across the country suffer restrictions, including the whole Jilin province and technological capital Shenzhen.
Toyota, Volkswagen, and Foxconn, an Apple supplier, are among the companies affected. The lockdowns have prompted fears that vital supply networks would be affected.
China recorded a new high of over 5,000 cases on Tuesday, the majority of which were in Jilin. On Monday, all 24 million residents of the province’s north-eastern region were placed under quarantine.
Since the Wuhan and Hebei lockdowns at the start of the pandemic, this is the first time China has restricted an entire province. Residents of Jilin are prohibited from traveling about, and anyone wishing to leave the province must first obtain permission from the police. It happened a day after the 12.5 million residents of Shenzhen’s southern metropolis were placed under a five-day curfew, with all bus and subway services suspended.
Businesses in many of the impacted areas have been advised to close or send their staff home unless they can provide vital services such as food, utilities, or other essentials.
Foxconn, which makes iPhones for Apple, shut down its Shenzhen operations on Monday, stating the date of restart would be “recommended by the local authorities.”