back to article Shanghai lockdown: Chinese tech execs warn of supply-chain chaos

As at least some parts of Shanghai enter their fourth week of lockdown, Chinese tech executives have highlighted how measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will affect supply chains and industry. In a Weibo post late last week (which The Register has machine-translated), He Xiaopeng, CEO of electric car company Xpeng, …

  1. steviebuk Silver badge

    Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

    I think people care more about having no food that anything. Due to wanting Zero Covid regarding a virus they fucked up and released. If Winnie the Pooh (Xi) isn't careful, his people will get tired of all the propaganda bullshit and rise up.

    The amount of their propaganda shit that ends up on the likes of Twitter is shocking considering Tweeter is banned. "Just use a VPN" as the nieve Olympian said, the American lady who was playing for China during the Olympics. Ignoring the fact VPNs are illegal in China and get caught with one and you're fucked.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

      It's very easy for people to say "just use a VPN" because they don't really properly understand the idea that the authorities are perfectly happy to show up outside your house and put you in a van.

      No cloak and dagger, fully out in the open.

      All it takes is for something you said online to be loosely linked back to you.

      The same people saying "just use a VPN" don't really understand the level and importance of Opsec that goes alongside that

      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

        Exactly.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

      Communism. It is *STILL* evil, even in 2022.

      (any questions? Just LOOK at how they treat their OWN PEOPLE!!! Would YOU want to live like that? Well if you do, move to COMMUNIST CHINA, and leave the REST of us OUT of that EVIL SYSTEM)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

        It works both ways:

        ----

        Capitalism, is is still evil, even in 2022

        (any questions? Just LOOK at how they treat their OWN PEOPLE!!! Would YOU want to live like that? Well if you do, move to the USA, and leave the REST of us OUT of that EVIL SYSTEM)

        ----

        It turns out that extremes and the imposition of fundamentalism into any system is a bad thing. It's not about capitalism vs communism, it's about abuse of power being dressed up in ideology to try and slip it by the population.

        Life in China is potentially very shit. But then, a life of poverty in the US isn't exactly great either - particularly if you straddle that uncomfortable line between poor-enough-for-support and wealthy-enough-to-scrape-by.

        In China, they've locked hundreds of thousands down and failed to feed them causing untold suffering and death

        In the US, they let covid run wild because "muh rights" resulting in the needless death of hundreds of thousands

        Different approaches, but neither outcome is good. Both driven by putting an ideology above the needs of the population.

        As another commentard told you further down, you sound like someone cheering on a football team rather than someone who's given any thought to the words you're vomiting onto people's screens.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

          see icon

        2. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

          Capitalism is not systemic. It's just how human beings work. Communism is a deliberate negation of humanity - they outright say, "We don't like how human beings work so we are going to make them change."

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

            Humans evolved for hundreds of thousands of years without capitalism. It is absolutely NOT 'just how human beings work'. How human beings are 'designed' (evolved to) work is in small groups of closely-knit people who developed relationships that cared about each other.

            Shit starts happening when one person or group wants to impose their will on another person or group.

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

        It's not the communism that's evil, it's the totalitarianism.

        Communism (which is ultimately about egalitarian decision-making) can, and does work in small groups (communes) of like-minded people who respect each other and are willing to make some trade-offs for the shared benefit of the community. This is mostly how humans lived for hundreds of thousands of years (even if there is an 'alpha' or tribe leader, the difference between top and bottom is minimal)

        Totalitarianism is getting everyone to do what the boss wants. Nonconformists can be killed or jailed, and that's the same whether the governing ideology is left-wing (Chinese / soviet communism), right-wing (Nazism, Chile under Pinochet etc), theocracy (Iran) or just medieval (Saudi and other Arab states). Where, under (capitalist) liberal democracies, governments can't jail dissidents willy-nilly, nonconformists can just be socially ostracised, denied employment opportunities, 'cancelled', publically hounded on social media etc, whether they're on the 'right' wing or the 'left'.

        Hate and intolerance is not the monopoly of any '-ism', rather it is shared among them. Hating against any particular '-ism' doesn't solve the problem, it just adds to the problem.

      3. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

        Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

        Blimey, I'm mellowing. I have upvoted BB several times lately, despite the glaring capitals.

      4. VoiceOfTruth

        Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

        Communism has raised hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty. Meanwhile in the free west, there are billionaires and skid row. How many has America raised out of poverty? A handful of ultra rich, and everyone else gets effed.

        1. fandom

          Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

          Nope, communism killed tens of millions of Chinese and kept the rest in misery.

          It was capitalism brought by Deng Xiaoping that pulled them out of poverty.

          Sure, they keep using communist symbols and keep talking about it but they sure aren't.

      5. Roj Blake

        Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

        Except China ceased to be a proper communist country about 25 years ago.

        1. Twanky Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

          So some considerable time after the 'Great Leap Forward' and the 'Cultural Revolution'? Were they part of 'proper' Communism? Is that when they started telling the truth to their people and to the world?

    3. VoiceOfTruth

      Re: Blame the CCP and Winne the Pooh

      How's the death rate for Covid in the USA? Oh yes, vastly higher than that in China. Or indeed it is higher than in many of America's supposed opponents. Praise the Lord and bury the dead. But they ain't getting the TV. Americans will give up their lives before they give up their guns and hamburgers and obesity crisis.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get out

    Obviously China's support for Putin has done little to dissuade western companies from using Chinese manufactures, but idiotic decisions like locking down 25 million people to prevent 3 deaths, and disrupting supply lines for months, might start impacting on the bottom line.

    1. Ben Tasker

      Re: Get out

      > idiotic decisions like locking down 25 million people to prevent 3 deaths

      That's not how statistics work

      It's not to prevent 3 deaths, it's to prevent many more than that.

      The lockdown, as badly implemented as it might be, probably has been successful at reducing covid spread and deaths. You can't really judge how many deaths it might have prevented based on the numbers achieved by the measures.

      What you should be arguing is that near death by starvation really isn't much better. They've effectively recreated a plague village, with the citizens being starved for the "benefit" of other areas.

      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: Get out

        Read the article again. 372,000 cases and three deaths. Locking up 25,000,000 people for that is insane.

        1. khjohansen
          Mushroom

          Re: Get out

          372000 cases and 3 deaths - BECAUSE THEY DID AN EFFECTIVE LOCKDOWN!!!

          Maths/exponentials is not your strong suit?

          1. pklausner

            Re: Get out

            A lockdown reduces the number of cases, it does *not* reduce the number of deaths resulting from the infections which happened anyway.

            If (if!) we are to believe the official figures, then the Case Fatality Rate is an astonishingly low 1 / 100000. If all 25 Mio locked down people were infected, that would be 250 dead. As deaths lag behind infections and sloppy counting, make that 2500.

            For comparison. The UK death toll is 320. Currently. Every single day.

            https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&time=2020-03-01..latest&facet=none&pickerSort=asc&pickerMetric=location&Metric=Confirmed+deaths&Interval=7-day+rolling+average&Relative+to+Population=true&Color+by+test+positivity=false&country=~GBR

            1. steviebuk Silver badge

              Re: Get out

              We don't believe their figures as everyone knows they are bullshit. The culture in China is all about face. Xi wants to make himself look good so the numbers will always be fudged.

              1. VoiceOfTruth

                Re: Get out

                How's the drinking bleach as advocated by Orange Man going?

                1. Twanky Silver badge

                  Re: Get out

                  Possibly cleaning up the gene pool.

          2. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch

            Re: Get out

            Those aren't the relevant official figures, if you're trying to calculate prevented deaths.

            Case-fatality ratios are the effective measure of preventable mortality. In countries where community transmission was common before vaccination and the emergence of particularly the omicron variant, it is typically 1-2%. Where vaccination was effectively implemented first, it is about 0.1-0.2%.

            Interestingly China's case-fatality ratios are tracking around 0.7%, and that's before the typical 3-week lag of mortality to reported cases in Shanghai. Until that data arrives, we simply don't know how many deaths the Shanghai lockdown has prevented.

            China had early vaccination. The size of that 0.7% number, though, leads to some interesting conclusions about long term efficacy of Sinovac.

          3. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: Get out

            "Effective Lockdown" - BULL! SHIT!

            Can I do 1,000 thumbs down?

            (in reality it is the human immune system that is the winner here)

          4. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: Get out

            If the lock-down was effective they wouldn't have had the cases. 3 deaths out of 372,000 cases. Obviously you're using a different math to everyone else.

          5. I should coco

            Re: Get out

            How many deaths has the lockdown caused from starvation and non-coivd related illnesses? More than 3 I would hazard...

        2. Ben Tasker

          Re: Get out

          Read my comment again, and realise that what you're commenting on is the *result* of the lockdown not the cause of it.

          There's also a real danger in focusing only on deaths. How many of those 371,997 cases are going to suffer serious long-term effects?

          Sorry, but you're wrong on two out of two counts.

        3. juice Silver badge

          Re: Get out

          > Read the article again. 372,000 cases and three deaths.

          The problem with that is that those statistics are official government ones, and Chinese officials aren't exactly reknowned for transparency and honesty. Especially when it comes to anything which their higher-ups have an active interest in.

          Admittedly, there's no doubt that a zero-tolerance lockdown is a proven way to halt Covid transmissions. But at the same time, the long-term social and economic impacts are huge.

          And with Shanghai being China's most densely populated city (3925 people per square km), I do also have to wonder just how effective even a military-enforced lockdown can be.

          Then too, not only are China's "inactivated" vaccines quanitifably less effective than the western mRNA vaccines (e.g. 51% vs 90% for CoronaVac vs Moderna, and a significantly faster drop off in antibody levels), but it also looks like they've also had significantly less uptake in their older population, who also happen to be the most vulnerable.

          https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02796-w

          https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/04/cdc-study-spotlights-utter-failure-of-chinas-covid-zero-policy-in-hong-kong/

          So, yeah. I'd take those statistics with a grain of salt. Possibly one as large as the iceberg which sunk the Titanic...

        4. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: Get out

          Mr Xi, I mean Winnie the Pooh, I mean Xi, no, Winnie the Pooh hasn't given out any Covid numbers, not reliable ones anyway. The fact they fucked over the doctor who dared mention China was having an issue with this near thing called Covid and then let him die, exposes the mentality of Xi. Although as Xi fucked up the recent Olympics he might get kicked out by his own people for someone different anyway.

        5. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Get out

          locking up 25 million people for 1000 TIMES THAT MANY 'COVID deaths' would STILL BE INSANE.

          More people die of CANCER, HEART ATTACKS, CAR ACCIDENTS and DRUG OVERDOSES per capita in the USA, If I Remember Correctly.

          Life *IS* risk. Only a COMMUNIST would treat people like this.

          1. Ben Tasker

            Re: Get out

            > More people die of CANCER, HEART ATTACKS, CAR ACCIDENTS and DRUG OVERDOSES per capita in the USA

            None of which are communicated onwards to other people (though I suppose technically you could argue you communicate a car accident onto the person you hit)

            > If I Remember Correctly.

            The USA lost 301.27 people per 100K to COVID (that's mortality alone, it doesn't include those who were debiliated by it): https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

            The cancer mortality rate in the US is dropping, but at it's peak it was 215 per 100,000 (https://www.healthline.com/health-news/cancer-status-report-overall-death-rate-continues-to-drop) - less than covid

            Heart disease is normally one of the leading causes of death in the US (https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm), apparently 1 in every 4 deaths is heart disease. But heart attacks are a smaller percentage of that - 805,000 people every year (actually I'm being generous, that's the number of people who have a heart attack, not those who die). With a US population of 329.5m that gives us 8.05 per 100K people.

            Drug overdose is apparently 21.6 per 100,000 (https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/deaths/index.html)

            This has turned into a blob of text though, so lets list these in descending order

            - COVID: 301.27 / 100K pop

            - Cancer: 215 / 100K pop

            - Drug overdose: 21.6 / 100K pop

            - Heart Attack: 8.05 / 100K pop

            So, no, Bombastic Bob you do not recall correctly. In fact, you're so far wrong as to be talking out of your arse.

          2. jmch Silver badge

            Re: Get out

            Thumbs up for everything except the last sentence, which is demonstrably false

      2. b0llchit Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Get out

        The death count is a pure work of fiction (the infection rate is probably fiction too).

        At a mortality rate of (at least) 0.1% you'd expect 37 dead with 372000 cases, not just 3. And that is data taken from a country (DK) with better than 80% overall vaccination rate for ages 15+ and better than 90% for age 60+. China has an abysmal vaccination rate and they only register 3 deaths on such large case count? That is not a statistical fluke, but severe manipulation. What do you expect in China, the truth?

        1. Twanky Silver badge

          Re: Get out

          Look at the 'Total Coronavirus Deaths in China' chart on the linked page:

          https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/china/

          It's bullshit, of course.

          Official statistics from China have long been unbelievable. It's obvious that they don't care if the rest of the world believes them or not.

          It's significant that the Imperial College London COVID-19 Response Team extolled China's figures in this report published 8 June 2020.

          In China, strict movement restrictions and other measures (including case isolation and quarantine) began to be introduced from 23 January 2020, which achieved a downward trend in the number of confirmed new cases during February and resulted in zero new confirmed indigenous cases in Wuhan by 19 March 2020.

        2. Ben Tasker

          Re: Get out

          That sounds like an argument for the lockdown rather than against it.

          What you're effectively saying is that they're lying about the death rate (and potentially the infection rate too) which is much higher.

          So, the lockdown has an increased chance of reducing harm, not a diminished one - at least before we factor in the cack-handed approach to things like supplying food.

          1. Twanky Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Get out

            That sounds like an argument for the lockdown rather than against it.

            Yup, that's logical.

            - We found some cases, order a lockdown.

            - It's not working, cases are rising. We need a tighter lockdown.

            - It's still not working, cases are still rising. We need a complete curfew and to deliver rations to the people.

            - Cases are still rising. Extend the lockdown.

            Ummm...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Get out

              I was pro-lockdown while vaccinations were not yet widely available or distributed. Now, no, it's another matter entirely.

              President Xi's next move would be to wipe out the population to eliminate cases. We do it with cattle that get Foot-and-Mouth. Murdering 25M people has never been a problem for the CCP before, so why should it be now?

              A little revolution is healthy from time to time, no? If there were ever a prompt for people to rally against authoritarian shit, this is the one.

      3. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Get out

        They might have prevented many more than 3 deaths, but with those numbers who knows? How many of 25 million people are getting sick physically or mentally because of the lockdown? How many of 25 million people would you expect to die anyway over the course of a month?

        'Normal' covid quarantine is 10-14 days, if they had to completely lock down a whole city for 22 days and counting, and they're still not thinking of unlocking, something is very wrong or very fishy. Either way, take the official story with a few pinches of salt.

  3. Potemkine! Silver badge

    China's behavior is unsettling. Locking down 25,000,000 of people because there are 16 severe cases is insane. The seasonal flu does worse.

    So, either this is a display of bureaucratic madness, or the situation is much worse than announced. Both are equally possible, even if I would tend to bet on the first proposal.

    This should be a wake-up call for "western" companies: don't rely on China only, even if quasi-slavery there makes the wages so small than shareholders can fill their pockets more and more.

    1. Twanky Silver badge

      It's called vendor lock-in and is best avoided. It does cost you a bit more to avoid though - at least in the short term.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Sadly I would bet on the second, and suspect the good folks of Shanghai will suffer far more than the CCP will either report or care about.

  4. Jonjonz

    Some folks don't recognize a shake down when it as plain as day. Guess which CPC official now has multiple new dachas after Tesla and Apple's factories got a pass.

    This is not politics, it's organized crime.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VPNs

    We have a China office that uses a VPN to our (safely segregated) network.

    The view from the middle kingdom is if it's clearly being used for business (so our employees only use it in the office) you'll be OK.

  6. Binraider Silver badge

    Just cogs in a giant machine. The state exists to serve itself, not it’s people. Everything wrong with every attempt at a communist state to date.

    Still, buying anything sans made-in-China is nigh impossible.

  7. Plest Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I wouldn't worry...

    Now Uncle Vlad has stopped Ukraine from exporting wheat, has India in his pocket and no one is buying his coal or oil, we'll all either freeze to death or starve, we can't afford the prices even if there was supply so last thing I'm worried about is buying more gadgets.

    Globalisation is a superb idea, works wonderfully until one person refuses to play nice or some nasty disease knocks people off kilter..."It's the end of the world as we know it..."(*)

    (* - Yes I know the REM track is not literally about that but a metaphor for a new beginning but... )

  8. Securitymoose
    Devil

    Boo hoo

    Amazon seems to get most of its cheap stuff from China, so who's going to mourn? When you order anything from there, they say something like 'Despatched within 3 days'. What they obscure is that your purchase is coming by moose from the Middle Kingdom and can take weeks if not months.

    Always check where it is coming from, and buy local for goodness sake.

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