Focus topics

End of zero-Covid creates new problems

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  • China’s worsening economic situation and the social protests against “zero-Covid” have led to an unexpectedly sudden exit from China’s zero-Covid policy. ​
  • Compared with the “20 measures” of 11 November, which featured gradual relaxation of existing restrictions, the “New 10 measures” went for a drastic lifting of restrictions that governed the everyday life of China in the past year. ​
  • The new measures no longer required PCR test results or health codes to enter public spaces, with some exceptions. Central quarantine for positive cases and close contacts – one of the most dreaded measures – is replaced by self-monitored home quarantine.  ​
  • While “dynamic Zero-Covid” quietly vanished from the Politburo meeting read-outs and the country’s top health officials’ speeches, a clear acknowledgment or affirmation of the transition was missing, nor is there a well-planned guideline for the post-covid resurgence of positive cases. ​
  • Local governments seem disoriented about the degree that the new relaxation measures should be carried out, resulting in uncoordinated enforcement. For instance, people who still needed a PCR test found most testing stations had already been removed prematurely. ​
  • While the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock market jumped in light of the reopening signs, the surge of positive cases in Beijing and other major cities will mean new disruptions on the road to economic recovery.​

Sinolytics is a European research-based consultancy entirely focused on China. It advises European companies on their strategic orientation and concrete business activities in the People’s Republic.


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