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Unlike in March, when Shenzhen enforced a seven-day lockdown during a fresh outbreak, most parts of the city at present are operating normally with no disruptions to public transport and various services-related businesses. Photo: Agence-France Presse

Chinese tech hub Shenzhen rolls out ‘targeted measures’ to reduce industrial disruptions, contain fresh Covid-19 outbreak

  • Shenzhen’s latest Covid-19 control measures enable industrial enterprises to balance safety with meeting their production goals
  • The city of 17 million on Tuesday reported 19 new infections, including four confirmed and 15 asymptomatic cases
Shenzhen
Shenzhen, China’s southern tech hub, has put major industrial areas in “bubble production” mode and closed a number of office buildings, as the local government pushes targeted measures to contain the city’s latest Covid-19 outbreak.

But unlike in March, when Shenzhen enforced a seven-day lockdown during a fresh outbreak, most parts of the city at present are operating normally with no disruptions to public transport and various services-related businesses.

Shenzhen health official Lin Hancheng said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the city’s pandemic situation is controllable and the risks of further outbreaks are low.

The city of 17 million in southern Guangdong province on Tuesday reported 19 new infections, including four confirmed and 15 asymptomatic cases. While the number is negligible by international standards, local authorities are doubling down on efforts to maintain China’s dynamic zero-Covid-19 strategy.
Chinese employees at Foxconn Technology Group’s various assembly lines in Shenzhen, in southern Guangdong province, are currently working under a “closed-loop” system on campus. Photo: Agence-France Presse
Major Chinese manufacturing enterprises in the city, including telecommunications equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co, chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp and Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group, on Sunday followed a local government directive to go under a “closed-loop” system that restricts movement of employees, while keeping their production schedules on track. This initiative is to conclude after seven days.
Still, electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, has told employees to avoid crowded public venues outside their workplace, according to a notice sent by the company on Tuesday. It advised workers in Shenzhen to follow a “two-points-and-one-line” pattern of sticking to their daily commutes between their residence and workplace.

Foxconn warned employees that any visit to places outside their commute routines could undermine existing coronavirus control efforts and prompt authorities to close the factory, according to the notice.

One Foxconn worker on campus, surnamed Zhang, said there was no mandatory lockdown in place, but the company has arranged daily nucleic acid testing and is checking health codes at the gate.

Chinese manufacturers in Shenzhen go under ‘closed-loop’ production mode

The Taiwanese firm, which is Apple’s main supplier of iPhones, said in a statement on Monday that operations are normal at its two campuses in Shenzhen. The company also said it is following government instructions to keep a balance between Covid-19 control and “safe production”.

The adjustments made in Shenzhen by companies like Foxconn, which is preparing for another busy season assembling iPhones and other devices, reflect how a number of major industrial enterprises are balancing strict Covid-19 control measures with production targets to keep supply chains running on the mainland.

Other companies, meanwhile, have also become more flexible with control measures by adopting a work-from-home strategy.

Chinese tech hub’s residents fear tighter Covid controls on the way

A local e-commerce company employee surnamed Yu said she had to rush back to her office to pick up her laptop computer and necessary documents after receiving a notice at 10pm on Sunday about the latest Covid-19 control measures affecting her workplace.

Her office building had to close because of one confirmed Covid-19-infected person who had visited the neighbourhood. Yu recalled that she fed the pet fish in the office “so that they don’t starve to death” before leaving the compound at 11:59pm.

At a Covid-19 control meeting last week, economist Meng Fanli, the Chinese Communist Party chief in Shenzhen, said: “We must mobilise all resources and adopt all measures to quickly eliminate the risk of coronavirus spreading in key areas, resolutely cut transmission chains and contain the outbreak as quickly as possible.”
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