China’s ongoing COVID battle has brought a new lockdown to the world’s largest source for electronics on Monday, August 29th.
According to Reuters, China’s tech hub Shenzhen is shutting down Huaqiangbei of Futian district for at least four days starting Monday to prevent COVID from spreading. Like other stringent lockdowns in China, residents are barred from leaving their homes during the period and must regularly conduct PCR testing.
Huaqiangbei is the world’s go-to wholesale market for electronics, where countless stalls selling microchips, telephone parts, and other parts to producers are set up. The closure is also imposed on multiple other streets in Futian.
Shenzhen also halted services at 24 subway stations and hundreds of bus stations citywide. That includes those around Huaqiangbei.
Residents’ accounts of the closure have also circulated on the internet. In one footage, Huaqiangbei seemed relatively vacant of commuters, although people are occasionally spotted on the street. Another video shows a tepid atmosphere as all stores have been closed.
On Sunday, August 28th, China’s Silicon Valley detected 11 new COVID-positive cases. That figure more than tripled on the following day to 35 cases. City officials attributed the recent outbreak to subvariant Omicron BF.15, believed to be more transmissive and trickier to scan out. Shenzhen warned that efforts to contain the virus would be strenuous in the days to come.
On August 30th, Shenzhen’s Longhua district began to suspend a string of entertainment venues, wholesale marketplaces, and large events were prohibited. In addition, restaurants in the district were told to trim down serving capacity by half. The curbs are expected to be in effect until September 3rd.