After weeks of prolonged lockdown, Shanghai, on April 16, announced 666 companies of key industries to resume operations and production.
This week, workers return to the factory. They are required to live and sleep on-site.
As Tesla workers finish their day, they rest in sleeping bags and mattresses at the factory, where daily meals and allowance would also be served.
According to the New York Times, New York University’s Shanghai campus sees a slew of workers slumber in offices and dorms. Factory workers are spending their nights on makeshift beds.
The Wall Street Journal reported that some companies in Shanghai had asked workers to stay in their offices for days or weeks.
Zheng Xiangru, an employee at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd., one of China’s largest state-owned banks, said he had already spent more than two weeks cooped up in an office.
Zheng says he must be physically present to settle transactions using the bank’s internal systems. The 28-year-old account manager sleeps on a foldable bed and drapes a sleeping bag over his body.
As Bloomberg reported, the Chinese side remained unnerved about the effectiveness of the lockdowns. Beijing opted for the closed-loop reopening, where workers will live on-site and regularly test for the virus.
Resuming operation under a closed-loop system is not easy, as companies are still subject to logistics problems caused by the unmoving lockdown. Transport is still practically curtailed in large.
Maximilian Butek, chief representative at the Delegation of German Industry & Commerce in Shanghai, said, “Their workers in closed-loop production have been working for more than three weeks and need to be replaced.”
He added that most of his association members could not run production sites “since they cannot get raw materials delivered and cannot deliver their products to their customers. The logistics in Shanghai is not working.”
Other examples, such as Tesla and Quanta Computer, have resumed work in the not-so-smooth experiences.
Tesla only had more than two weeks of inventory on hand, while workers locked in the Volkswagen AG factory in Shanghai did not have the necessary auto parts needed to make cars.
Butek added that the supply and logistics problems appear not only in Shanghai as “different cities have different rules.”
He said, “For technical staff, which need to execute quality assessments or maintenance of machines in other parts of China, it is almost impossible to commute or travel. Customers might turn to other sources in China if the situation doesn’t change soon.”