China lifted the ‘Zero Covid’ policy hoping it would give their citizens relief but it didn’t go well with migrant workers as they have to search for new jobs after being affected by the stringent regulations, Voice Against Autocracy reported.
The Zero-Covid policy hampered China’s economy and affected the migrant workers, who were dependent on the day’s salary. In the week during the Lantern Festival, workers were often seen returning to their homes, leaving factories short on labor, the report stated, adding that following the ‘golden week’, laborers resume their work but this time, they returned early only to search for a job.
Covid has made things different this year with workers returning in search of finding a job sooner than expected and still unable to procure a stable income, reported Voice Against Autocracy.
Following the Foxconn disaster last year, which was attributed to the alleged unfair treatment of labourers, confusion over wages and bonuses, unpaid Covid-19 quarantine protocols, and filthy living conditions, the situation of migrant workers has only worsened.
The situation in almost all areas in China, including Shenzhen, Qiannan, and Guangzhou is the same with them being manufacturing giants in providing jobs to millions of migrant workers, the report added.
Further, according to Voice against Autocracy, if the given situation prevails for a longer period of time, it is highly likely that China’s title of being the ‘world’s manufacturing hub’ might be snatched and bigger countries like the US and Europe might turn their eyes towards other options such as Vietnam and India.
Meanwhile, in Global Strat View, Hong Kong-based economist Zhiwei Zhang highlighted the negative impact of Covid infections and the Xi Jinping government’s dependence on demographics in China’s economy.
“Going forward, demographics will be a headwind. Economic growth will have to depend more on productivity growth, which is driven by government policies,” he said.
In 2022, China’s GDP grew by just 3 per cent, the worst since the Mao era. Similar economic situations were witnessed during Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, reported Global Strat View.
Instead, it is set to be under the weather for a long time, thanks to the severe blows expected as fallouts of the uncontrollable Covid-infections and the demographic crisis.
At the same time, it has been struck with a new problem a lower workforce due to a declining population. These factors will likely seriously impact all major sectors of China’s economy, such as manufacturing, agriculture, and services, reported Global Strat View.
The ‘Zero Covid’ policy was revoked abruptly a few weeks ago, leading to confusion and disturbance in society, reported Global Strat View, adding that this caused Covid cases to go up, making people sick, thus naturally slowing down business activities.
Renaud Anjoran, CFO of Hong Kong-based supply chain management firm Sofeast Limited, said output was slow as over 40 per cent of the workforce, including top officials, was down with Covid.
“The situation is so volatile. China’s production is going to be impacted for some time to come,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)