The harsher China’s zero-covid regime, the bigger its covid-industrial complex. The zero-covid mantra was to test as many people as possible and then to quarantine not only the infected but their contacts and even the contacts of those contacts. In many cases the occupants of entire residential buildings were carted away to isolation wards—called fangcang yiyuan in Chinese—after the discovery of a single case in an area. As leaders in Beijing fought to keep the virus from spreading across the country, many firms cashed in.
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Theses firms now face a reversal of their fortunes. Sentiment towards zero-covid has shifted rapidly over the past two weeks. On December 7th the central government announced the end of unnecessary testing and allowed quarantining at home for asymptomatic cases after protests against…