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Covid-Hit Shanghai To Allow Gradual Reopening Of Malls And Markets, Xinhua Says

Shanghai will gradually allow shopping malls, vegetable markets and hair salons to reopen starting tomorrow after weeks of closure to ward off Covid-19, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported today.

“Shanghai has been vigorously promoting the opening of business outlets and the return of personnel to ensure supply of daily necessities,” the Xinhua report said, citing comments by Shanghai Vice Mayor Chen Tong at a media briefing.

Lockdowns in the business hub of 26 million have disrupted supply chains, investment, staffing and transportation in the world’s second-largest economy. Foreign businesses with operations in the city include Tesla, Volkswagen and Johnson & Johnson; a government report last year said the city has 61,090 foreign-invested businesses. The city is home to U.S.-listed Chinese companies including Bilibili, Pinduoduo, Trip.com and Huazhu. Lockdown fallout has spilled over from Shanghai itself into the neighboring Yangtze River delta and had a “gigantic” impact on the global auto industry, according to Bill Russo, the founder and CEO of Automobility, a Shanghai-headquartered strategy and investment advisory firm (see post here).

The U.S. in April urged Americans to reconsider travel to China due to “arbitrary enforcement of local laws and Covid-19-related restrictions,” and said “do not travel” to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Jilin province “due to Covid-19-related restrictions, including the risk of parents and children being separated.” (See earlier post here.) The lockdowns have drawn public protest and come as President Xi Jinping is expected to seek a third term as leader later this year.

Malls, department stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies will gradually resume in-store operations “in an orderly manner,” while vegetable markets and hair salons will gradually reopen with limited capacity, Chen added, according to the Xinhua report.

The number of Shanghai commercial outlets in operation has recovered from a low of 1,400 to 10,625, and reopening will advance in stages, Xinhua said. Daily delivery orders have reached five hit million, it said.

Shanghai reported 166 locally transmitted Covid cases and 1,203 local asymptomatic cases on Saturday, Xinhua said. The report didn’t say how many residents remain in lockdown.

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