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China Finds Way to Do Covid Zero While Keeping Factories Open

  • Technology hub Shenzhen has been locked down since Sunday
  • ‘Closed loop’ systems used by iPhone maker Foxconn, others
A mass Covid-19 testing site in Beijing, on March 15.

A mass Covid-19 testing site in Beijing, on March 15.

Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Just days into a Covid-19 lockdown that bars residents of Shenzhen from leaving their homes, China is allowing some companies to restart factories in the tech hub in a move that may provide a blueprint for shielding the economy and supply chains from the country’s virus fight.

iPhone maker Foxconn Technology Group is the most prominent, allowed to partially resume its operations in Shenzhen on Wednesday by deploying a so-called closed loop system. Workers are ferried from their company-run dormitory to the factory and back, subject to regular Covid testing and checks. Zhen Ding Technology Holding Ltd., a Taiwanese maker of printed circuit boards, is also operating a closed loop at its plant, along with a medical device company manufacturing essential goods that didn’t want to be named.