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China widens COVID curbs, Apple factory unrest adds to economy worries

Across China, cities including the capital Beijing and financial hub Shanghai have closed malls and parks, and imposed limits on the movement of people arriving from elsewhere as infections neared record highs last seen in April.

November 23, 2022 / 01:32 PM IST

Chinese authorities imposed more restrictions on Wednesday to rein in a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections, adding to investors' worries about the economy just as fresh unrest at the world's largest iPhone factory highlighted the social and financial toll of these curbs.

Across China, cities including the capital Beijing and financial hub Shanghai have closed malls and parks, and imposed limits on the movement of people arriving from elsewhere as infections neared record highs last seen in April.

The measures are darkening the outlook for the world's second-largest economy and dampening hopes that China would significantly ease its outlier coronavirus policy any time soon.

"While there is little prospect of the authorities opting to step back from the zero-COVID policy during the winter, there is a significant risk that containment efforts fail," analysts at Capital Economics wrote in a note. Such a failure could result in more lockdowns which would cause unprecedented damage to the economy, the analysts added.