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China's Covid Zero policy broke the system that keeps its factories running

The slow return of migrant workers shows how China's economic outlook remains uncertain, despite Beijing's desire to put the chaos of Covid Zero behind it

Photo: Bloomberg
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Photo: Bloomberg

Bloomberg
China says its economy will soon be back on track after three years of Covid Zero. But the shadow of the disruptive policy still lingers over its manufacturing heartland, casting doubt over the pace of the recovery. 

In downtown Guangzhou, the southern metropolis that’s home to China’s largest garment wholesale markets, factory owners and recruiters say workers are reluctant to come back, scarred by the experience of long lockdowns, no wages and violent protests during China’s efforts last year to stamp out the virus. Some hold up cardboard signs touting job vacancies, while others run after prospective employees, begging for

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First Published: Feb 17 2023 | 7:39 AM IST

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