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Crushed Brics

Bearbull’s Chinese relatives have gruesome tales to tell about lockdown in Shanghai. Much sympathy should go to those who woke to find the lift doors on all the apartment blocks in their compound welded shut. Okay, food is available for delivery, though at a price. So it wasn’t a smart move when one local food vendor posted on Weibo that his takings for March were the sterling equivalent of £3mn, about 30 times the usual amount. His regulars won’t be happy when next they meet him and the long arm of the local authority will be waiting for its tax take.

And real pity to those residents trusting enough to leave their domestic animals behind as they left for Shanghai’s ‘zero-Covid’ camps. This time, the long arm of the local authority came clad in hazmat suits and bearing metal bars to club the animals to death. The outrage posted on social media eventually curbed the excesses, but the damage was done.

Meanwhile, the damage a shutdown in China’s biggest city is doing to the country's economy is still being quantified, not forgetting the likelihood of a nationwide programme of fierce lockdowns for as long as the Party clings to the pursuit of zero-Covid. As a result, investors are dumping shares and economic forecasters are busy scaling back their estimates for 2022’s growth.

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