There are various developments since our last message. Shanghai lockdown ended. But actually there never really was one, we are now informed, and the follow-on is apparently just as weird, with a treadmill of PCR tests basically every day for anyone with the slightest level of social activity. The tests are all free until July 1 and then it appears they will cost 16 yuan a pop. That solves the problem of who is going to pay for all this. The answer is the people. But at what point do people say, enough? Who knows? The dynamic zero Covid policy appears firmly in place, however, regardless of the consequences, social, economic and mental. And in spite of lots of rumors, it also appears the big 20 will be smooth sailing for those in command. Which raises the question of what the consequence of that is. A lot of people deciding to lie flat is one possibility.
That leads to thoughts about Shanghai, the city most affected by the dynamic zero policy. A few years ago, it was possible to see the city as being on the cusp of fulfilling its fate of being a truly international city. Today, a couple of residents we spoke to said, it feels like it’s been pushed back a long way. How far? Who knows? But also domestically, Shanghai’s special role is no longer necessarily secure, in that many second and third tier cities now have the infrastructure and lifestyle to compete effectively.
Internationally, we see a more and more focused discussion in Germany on the country’s relations with China. Interestingly the media and public opinion are on one side and the companies on the other. Our only thought is that it never made sense to hand over all the technology with no long-term guarantee of participation. But that’s what they did.
Have a great weekend.