China says it will help key industries return to work in locked-down Shanghai

Recasts with industry regulator statement

SHANGHAI, April 15 (Reuters)China said on Friday it would help hundreds of companies in key industries resume production in Shanghai, the commercial capital of the center of the is from the countrylatest Covid-19 outbreakas businesses warn of the growing economic cost of restrictions.

The announcement comes as a growing number of business leaders and analysts warn that China’s strict “zero-COVID” policy is triggering economic disruptions that ripple through global supply chains for goods, from electric vehicles to iPhones.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will work with 666 companies in the semiconductor, automobile and medical sectors to resume work, it said in a statement on Friday evening.

Teams have been sent to Shanghai to ensure the resumption of work in these key industrial companies, the regulator added.

Xpeng electric car manufacturer 9868.HK and tech giant Huawei HWT.UL warned of impending industry-wide production suspensions if suppliers in Shanghai and around impossible to return to work, while many foreign companies have recently announced production stoppages at their Chinese factories.

Airlines and the real estate sector are also feeling the pain.

Although the 23,000 inhabitants of Shanghai new infections Friday were down from more than 27,000 the day before, they included a record 3,200 symptomatic cases, down from 2,573 the day before.

Xpeng chief executive He Xiaopeng issued a stern warning to the industry unless the situation improves.

“If suppliers in and around Shanghai don’t find a way to resume operations and production in May, all Chinese automakers may have to stop production,” he said on the app. of Wechat social media.

Richard Yu, general manager of Huawei’s consumer business group and its smart car unit, echoed He’s sentiments in private comments confirmed by the company, adding that the industry was facing huge losses.

Shipments of some Apple products, as well as Dell and Lenovo laptops could also face delays, analysts said. L3N2WD0NS

On Friday, the Department for Transport announced a nationwide pass system to allow freight vehicles to move between high-risk areas without delay, as long as drivers have normal temperatures and a negative virus test dating back less than of 48 hours.

An April 7 study by Gavekal Dragonomics found that 87 of China’s 100 largest cities by gross domestic product have imposed some form of quarantine restrictions.

COVID restrictions have also hit travel across the country, with flag carrier Air China 601111.SS reporting a 70% drop in traffic in March compared to a year ago.

House prices stagnated for a second consecutive month in China’s 70 major cities last month, official data showed on Friday, as lockdowns sapped consumer confidence and sapped demand. L2N2WD02F

Some of those locked up in Shanghai have thpress frustration on social media over food supply difficulties and poor conditions in central quarantine facilities.

Most stores in Shanghai were closed, except for some with ajar shutters from which goods were transported to waiting delivery drivers.

The city has converted residential buildings into quarantine centers, but this is drawing protests from angry neighbors worried about increased infection risks. L5N2WC4XE

COVID-19 vaccine rollout:

FACTBOX-Latest information on the global spread of the coronavirus ID:nL4N2KI0XB

FACTBOX-Global coronavirus deaths exceed 6.5 millionID:nL4N2AY3AS

(Reporting by David Kirton and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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