Covid case surge tests "optimizations"; Xi returns to Beijing; Chen Wenqing goes to Yan'an; TikTok's US troubles
Summary of today’s Essential Eight:
Covid cases surging - Beijing recorded three Covid-related deaths, the first official deaths from Covid in the PRC in six months. Cases are surging in several cities including Beijing, Shijiazhuang, which has now locked down, Guangzhou and Chongqing. Vice Premier and Covid czar Sun Chunlan made a research and inspection tour to Chongqing. Tougher measures including lockdowns and mass centralized quarantining usually follow her visits. Investors may have gotten ahead of themselves in their exuberance about the possibly reopening, or at least the virus has not yet seen the bullish research memos.
Clarifying the 20 optimization measures - People's Daily "Zhong Yin" continues its series on the 20 optimization measures. The messaging could not be clearer that while these optimization measures are intended to be more precise and reduce the social and economic costs of Dynamic zero-Covid they in no way mean there will not be lockdowns.