SHANGHAI — China said on Friday that it will help hundreds of companies in key industries resume production in locked-down Shanghai, the commercial capital at the center of the country’s latest COVID-19 outbreak, as businesses warn of the growing economic toll of restrictions.
The announcement comes as a growing number of business leaders and analysts warn that China’s strict “zero-COVID” policy is triggering economic disruptions that are rippling through global supply chains for goods from electric vehicles to iPhones.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will work with 666 companies making semiconductors, automobiles, and the medical sector to get back to work, it said in a statement late on Friday.
Teams have been sent to Shanghai to ensure the resumption of work at these key industrial companies, the regulator added.
Electric-vehicle maker Xpeng and technology giant Huawei warned of looming industry-wide bottlenecks if suppliers in Shanghai and surrounding areas cannot resume work, while numerous foreign companies have recently idled production at Chinese plants.
Airlines and the real estate sector are also feeling the pain.
Although Shanghai’s 23,000 new infections on Friday were down from more than 27,000 the previous day, they included a record 3,200 symptomatic cases, versus 2,573 a day earlier.