Grand Reopening?

"COVID zero" in China is over. Not officially, and maybe not for good. But de facto, and at least for the time being. It's obvious China has decided to take a real shot at reopening after three years of rolling lockdowns and draconian virus curbs blamed for kneecapping the world's second-largest economy. The question is whether Xi will ultimately countenance the inevitable explosion in cases and, likely, wave of deaths. As the new week dawned, the Party was still using buzzwords like "optimiza
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3 thoughts on “Grand Reopening?

  1. Amen. I decided a long time ago to never invest or trade Chinese securities. Market is rigged, data fudged, etc., etc. At least lottery tickets often benefit identifiable charities rather than despots.

    1. I’m right behind you. I’ve got a holding in a fin-tech that supports the banking and finance area of the Chinese economy. It swims in money and applies tech in a unique way that helps it save cost on the front end and multiply returns on the back end. I’ve been selling it off, though it’s holding its own in a dubious market. But in the long term, I grown to dislike the politics in China. It’s only a matter of time as they slowly and steadily isolate themselves further from the international community. Right now, I would not want to be Apple, working with Foxconn. That’s just one example of the significant problem China creates for itself in running the business of the country by the thoughts and directions of the Fearless Leader at the top.

      What gets me even more is how the west is so comingled in their system. That creates another question in my mind: How do we, in fact, separate? Aside from being a general topic in the news, I’m not hearing a lot of specific stories about US companies changing the locale for their production work. I hear only general declarations from politicians and the media that US companies are leaving China. But actual evidence is scant.

      I also hear a lot about the “end of globalization.” Even if US companies leave China completely, it seems to me that globalization could carry on to a degree, but in a less robust form.

  2. There’s definitely been a sea change in Chinese covid policy, and it has definitely come from the top. My reasoning is that a lot of bureaucratic inertia had to be overcome to make the headline-making policy changes we’ve seen. You cited the dropped requirements for a negative test before using public transportation. The other one is Beijing allowing people to quarantine at home rather than in dedicated quarantine facilities. Beijing had already built out temporary quarantine facilities capable of housing tens of thousands of people. To do all that, then reverse the policy, required a huge shift in bureaucratic inertia. That only happens when people at the top of the pyramid give explicit orders. Even in the most liberal of democracies, bureaucracies are slow to change direction. In China, it takes a lever big enough to impress even Archimedes.

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