No. 96 | 23.04.2022

Staff members pack daily necessities from group purchases in Shanghai, 13 April 2022 [Zhu Wingxin / China Daily]

Dear reader,

As China faces the largest Covid-19 outbreak since Wuhan, we prepared a special edition looking into the country’s zero Covid policy and its social and economic impacts. For more on Shanghai’s situation from perspectives from within the city, listen to an interview by Covert Action Bulletin with Dongsheng’s Tings Chak (English).

To receive more regular news updates, please subscribe to our News on China Telegram channel.

Dongsheng editorial collective

Covid in China

Zero Covid policy aims to protect vulnerable elders, as Omicron could claim one million lives in three months if left to spread

With 88% of population fully vaccinated, China has registered only 37 deaths in recent outbreaks, but 19% of Chinese aged over 60 are unvaccinated and 50% of those over 80 have received two doses; country needs to vaccinate the elderly, expand online consultation, and stockpile antivirals to move beyond zero Covid

Science, 15.04.2022

CCDC Tracking the Epidemic

Over 20 Chinese cities or regions – about 50 million people – are under “static management” to combat outbreaks of Omicron

More flexible than lockdowns, static management allows greater movement of people after temperature checks and proof of negative tests; Shanghai and Jilin Province experiences exemplify the need to act quickly to curb the variant’s spread before transmission exceeds the control limit

Global Times, 20.04.2022

Global Times, 17.04.2022

Shanghai resumes production at 666 key manufacturers, with “closed-loop management” used at the Winter Olympics

⅓ of residents (7.86 million people) are living in lower-risk “precautionary zones,” with supermarkets, grocery stores, and restaurants approved for reopening; ten deaths recorded earlier this week are related to low vaccination rates among the elderly

South China Morning Post, 20.04.2022

Global Times, 19.04.2022

Shanghai lockdown disrupts international supply chains of goods, including vehicles, semiconductor, and electronics, taking a toll on the economy

With US$627 billion annual GDP, Shanghai has the world’s largest container port and is the hub of China’s vast global trade network; one-month shutdown could reduce income for the city (61%) and country (8.6%) due to disruptions in logistics and increased trade costs

Caixin Global, 18.04.2022

Shanghai residents turn to mutual aid and neighborhood solidarity to face challenges in securing food and basic supplies

With city logistics networks under pressure, housing communities form WeChat messaging groups to share information, organize orders, and buy directly from wholesalers, with women playing a key role in demanding community organizing work; overpricing and unreliable suppliers remains challenging

Global Times, 18.04.2022

Sixth Tone, 19.04.2022


China’s Q1 GDP surpasses expectations, growing 4.8% year-on-year to reach $4.24 trillion, but slows in March

Fixed asset investment (US$1.64 trillion) rises 9.3%, with infrastructure up 8.5% and manufacturing up 15.6%, while retail sales (US$1.7 trillion) grow 3.3%; Covid outbreaks in major Chinese cities are likely to affect GDP in Q2

Global Times, 18.04.2022

National Bureau of Statistics, 18.04.2022

Despite growing tensions with the West, China’s foreign trade (US$1.48 trillion) rises 10.7% year-on-year in Q1

Exports (US$820 billion) grow 13.4% and imports are up 7.5% (US$650 billion), highlighted by a 28% jump in trade with Russia, 9.9% with the US, and 10.2% with the EU

Global Times, 13.04.2022

Global Times, 13.04.2022


Chinese “rice bowls” and food security are guaranteed, despite global spikes in food and fertilizer prices due to Russia-Ukraine conflict

Of China’s total 2021 imports, <1% of its soybeans, wheat, corn, and barley was from Russia, with corn (29%) and barley (26%) from Ukraine; due to high grain stockpiles, China is self-sufficient in wheat, corn, and sorghum, but relies heavily on soybean imports (US, Brazil, Argentina)

Global Times, 07.04.2022

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

The central government invested US$1.53 billion in over 2,000 wetland protection and restoration projects (2016-20)

The Wetlands Protection Law is set to be implemented on June 1st to resolve problems in the identification, protection, and restoration processes; lack of preventative impact assessment and public participation in these spaces remain a problem

Science and Technology Daily, 14.04.2022

China Dialogue, 09.03.2022

People’s Life and Culture

Taiwanese musicians find new audiences through alternative genres and reality TV shows, following a decline in the island’s pop culture influence in recent decades

1960s economic boom sparked Taiwan’s golden age in regional cultural influence, surpassing Chinese mainland music sales in 1993 (reaching US$400 million, 1996) until mainland and K-pop competition grew; today, only 12.5% of 200 trending songs on NetEase are Taiwanese

See music links in The World of Chinese, 17.04.2022

Postage stamps for 20th anniversary of death of Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng, 15 April 2015 []

Subscribe to News on China. The digest is published every Saturday in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

Follow our social media channels: