Businesses shut in China after Covid lockdowns

Beijing, March 15 : Several multinational companies have announced the halting of their operations in China as authorities widened the Covid lockdown across the country in the wake of the rise in the number of cases, BBC reported on Tuesday. Millions of people across the country are facing severe restrictions, including complete lockdown in the entire Jilin province and technology hub Shenzhen, as authorities have reported record numbers of cases. Among the big names that have halted operations include Toyota, Volkswagen and Apple supplier Foxconn, raising fears that it could disrupt the crucial supply chains. On Tuesday China recorded a record high of more than 5,000 cases, most of them in Jilin. Nearly 24 million residents of the north-eastern province have been placed under quarantine on Monday, the first time China has put an entire province have been restricted since the Wuhan and Hebei lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic. Jilin residents have been prohibited from moving around, and anyone wanting to leave the province has to first apply for police permission. This came a day after a five-day lockdown was placed on the 12.5 million residents of the southern city of Shenzhen, with all buses and subway services being suspended. On Tuesday authorities in Langfang city which borders the capital Beijing, as well as Dongguan in the southern province of Guangdong, also imposed immediate lockdowns. Businesses in the affected regions have been told to either close their operations or have their employees work from home, unless they supplied essential services like food, utilities or other necessities. ACL1358

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