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China’s Factories Struggle With Slow Dismantling of Covid Curbs

  • Guangzhou’s manufacturing hub sees migrant worker shortage
  • Closed-loop system seen untenable as businesses try to resume
Workers move rolls of fabric in the Haizhu district of Guangzhou in September.

Workers move rolls of fabric in the Haizhu district of Guangzhou in September.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Before October, Qiang had about 30 workers in his garment factory in Guangzhou’s Haizhu, a district often dubbed the apparel manufacturing capital of China. After more than a month of Covid lockdowns, all of them have fled, bringing production to a halt.

“Those who went home are watching to see when to come back,” said Qiang, declining to provide his full name for fear he’ll face repercussions for speaking publicly. “I need to restart production the moment the sub-district gives us the green light.”