Shanghai’s economy is improving happily as the end of the COVID lockdown nears

Residents chat through gaps in barriers at a gated residential area during the lockdown amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai, China May 27, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

  • Electricity consumption in Shanghai at 83% of 2021 levels
  • Some parks in Shanghai, bus lines will reopen
  • Chinese industrial companies’ profits plummet in April

SHANGHAI/BEJING, May 27 (Reuters) – Shanghai on Friday took further phased steps to lift its COVID-19 lockdown as Beijing investigated cases where its tough restrictions impacted other medical treatments as China continues its uneven exit from restrictions.

The financial hub and capital have been hot spots, with a tough two-month lockdown to stem a coronavirus surge in Shanghai and tight movement restrictions to quell a small but stubborn outbreak in Beijing.

The curbs have hit the world’s second largest economy even as most countries have tried to return to something resembling normalcy.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

China’s economy is now struggling to bounce back, but the data shows only a sluggish and partial recovery, with companies from retailers to chipmakers warning of slow sales as consumers in the country rein in spending. Continue reading

Electricity consumption by major industrial enterprises in Shanghai rose steadily to 83% of 2021 levels in the first three weeks of May, Ruan Qiantu, head of the municipal branch of China’s state grid, told reporters.

The utility will work to avoid outages as demand recovers and summer peak consumption approaches, Ruan said. “We actively respond to the needs of companies.”

As Shanghai, China’s most populous city, aims to essentially end its lockdown from Wednesday, authorities have allowed more people to leave their homes and more businesses to reopen over the past week. But most residents remain limited to their connections and most businesses can only make deliveries.

The Pudong district, home to the Port of Shanghai, the city’s largest airport and main financial hub, reopened 115 bus routes on Friday. The city is slowly expanding public transport after reopening four of its 20 subway lines and more than 250 bus routes on Sunday.

As of Thursday, more than 30 parks had reopened, with visitor numbers limited to below 50% of their maximum capacity, the Shanghai Daily reported. 70 more parks will reopen by Tuesday.

Shanghai’s most recent daily COVID case count has been below 300, with no cases outside quarantine areas, as has been the case for most of the past two weeks. Beijing reported 29 daily cases, up from 45 the previous day.

The capital this week stepped up quarantines, reduced workplace attendance and cracked down on people flouting orders. This strict approach has sometimes caused other problems. Continue reading

Beijing officials are investigating cases of delayed treatment for patients with acute illnesses and some rescue workers have been suspended, the state-backed People’s Daily said on Friday.

A farmer surnamed Song wrote on social media that his 32-year-old son died in Beijing on May 11 after waiting an hour for an ambulance with acute chest pain. Song said he was told there had been confusion over whether his son could be admitted to local hospitals due to COVID controls.

“This practice … brought irreparable losses to a peasant family with only one son and caused serious negative impact and slander on epidemic control efforts,” Song wrote Thursday.

Cases of slow access to medical care for pregnant women and other non-COVID patients during the lockdown sparked outrage in Shanghai and Xian earlier this year. Continue reading


Profits at Chinese industrial companies fell at the fastest pace in two years in April, data showed on Friday, as high commodity prices and convoluted supply chains squeezed margins and disrupted factory activities. Continue reading

Auto sales in the world’s largest auto market have slowed dramatically, gamers are buying fewer consoles, and consumers are unwilling to replace their existing smartphones or laptops.

But things have improved this month.

Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng (9868.HK) is accelerating deliveries after resuming two-shift production at its plant in the southern city of Zhaoqing in mid-May, Chairman He Xiaopeng told analysts this week.

Tesla (TSLA.O) added a second shift at its Shanghai plant on Thursday. Continue reading

Alibaba Group (9988.HK) cited pandemic-related risks and other uncertainties on Thursday for failing to provide guidance for its new fiscal year. Continue reading

China’s central bank said Thursday it would encourage more lending for smaller businesses.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

Reporting from the Beijing and Shanghai offices; Letter from Marius Zaharia; Adaptation by William Mallard

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Comment