According to Radio Free Asia, in early May, a phone survey on business confidence among small and medium-sized companies in Shanghai showed a negative atmosphere, with 89% of business owners losing confidence or wanting to shut down. The Chinese regime’s ‘zero COVID’ policy took a hefty toll on the country’s economy. Also, under months-long lockdown, several business owners suffered from nervous breakdowns. 

As Chinese media Da Ji Yuan reported, since early 2022, multiple cities across China have been under Covid lockdowns. Large-scale layoff waves and bankruptcies were reported over small and medium-sized companies. As a result, foreign investors are also ditching China.

According to a mainland psychiatrist, outpatient visits to Shenzhen’s psychiatric department have doubled; many small- and medium-sized business owners came to the psychiatric department asking for help.

On July 11, a long article then censored titled “Anxiety, depression, insomnia… under the epidemic, Shenzhen bosses went to the department of psychiatry” was posted on WeChat posted by the Daily People account.

The article described how Shenzhen business owners have suffered since the Covid outbreak; there was a spike of businessmen receiving treatment from Kangning Hospital for their mental health, the only tertiary-grade mental illness specialized hospital in Shenzhen.

The report says many small and medium-sized business owners also came to the hospital- under the psychiatry department.

Business people are looking for help from anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Dr. Wang Yongjun, a Clinical Psychiatry Research director from Shenzhen Kangning Hospital, said he saw a spike of bosses seeking anxiety treatment who are only in their 30s and 40s.

Dr. Wang Yongjun shared his experience talking to a patient who, a 40-year-old chairman, ran into a typical anxiety disorder and physical discomfort.

Another patient is a 50-year-old man whose entire family is making money in the import and export business. When sitting down to talk to the doctor, the patient started picking his fingers; his hands and legs were shaking as he spoke.

He said he could not sleep for three or four months; he could sleep and control his anxiety only when taking 3-4 clonazepam tablets per day.

According to Tianyancha data, during the 2020 Covid, China saw a total of 460,000 enterprises shut down in the first quarter of 2020. As Chinese media NetEase reported on July 19, 460,000 companies shut down, and an estimate of nearly 800 million Chinese were in debt.

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