Skip to content

Xi’s Covid Policy Crosses a Line With Invasive Home Disinfection

Residents question legality, science of sterilizing apartments as President Xi Jinping’s pandemic policy meets waves of resistance 

A health worker sprays disinfectant at a gated community during the phased lockdown in Shanghai on May 11.

A health worker sprays disinfectant at a gated community during the phased lockdown in Shanghai on May 11.

Photographer: Yang Jianzheng/VCG/Getty Images

President Xi Jinping’s punishing Covid Zero policy has angered Chinese citizens by invading the one place they’ve retained some small bit of privacy: their homes.

A video of “Big White” hazmat pandemic enforcers dousing disinfectant over an apartment in the eastern Chinese city of Xuzhou — even emptying the refrigerator for sterilization — sparked outrage on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. The clip was shared 50,000 times and clocked 10 million views before being censored.