The Chinese government has told families to keep daily necessities in stock in case of emergencies, after Covid-19 outbreaks and unusually heavy rains that caused a surge in vegetable prices raised concerns about supply shortages.
The commerce ministry directive late on Monday stirred some concern on domestic social media that it may have been triggered by heightened tensions with Taiwan, while some said people were rushing to stock up on rice, cooking oil and salt.
“As soon as this news came out, all the old people near me went crazy panic buying in the supermarket,” wrote one user on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. Local media has also recently published lists of recommended goods to store at home including biscuits and instant noodles, vitamins, radios and flashlights.
The government typically makes extra efforts to boost fresh vegetable and pork supplies before China's most important holiday, Lunar New Year, which in 2022 falls in early February.
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