Jonathan Cheng Profile picture
China Bureau Chief @WSJ. Formerly of Seoul, New York and Hong Kong bureaus.
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May 7 4 tweets 3 min read
Lenovo, Xiaomi and other Chinese tech companies are quietly pulling back from doing business in Russia under pressure from U.S. sanctions and suppliers, despite calls by Beijing to resist overseas coercion, say people familiar with the matter.
@DanStrumpf @DanStrumpf In contrast to many Western firms, Xiaomi and Lenovo have avoided public statements about Russia’s war in Ukraine or their business there. Consumer drone maker DJI made the unusual move of announcing the suspension of its business in Russia and Ukraine.
May 7 8 tweets 5 min read
While much of the world’s focus has been on the lockdown now entering its sixth week in Shanghai, many millions more across China have been caught in longer or recurring shutdowns by stringent Covid-19 policies.
@rachelliang5602 @rachelliang5602 All but one of China's 31 provincial-level jurisdictions have seen full or partial lockdowns since March, the Journal found. There were a total of 114 high- to mid-risk virus hot spots in a dozen Chinese cities, the National Health Commission said.
May 6 7 tweets 5 min read
Chinese Amb. to the U.S. @AmbQinGang: "China has a good record of keeping promises. We honor our words with actions. This year marks the 20th anniversary of China's entry into WTO. In the past 20 years, China has fulfilled all the commitments of entry." @AmbQinGang .@AmbQinGang: "The tariff war does nobody's good. I think it's time for the US administration to reconsider and to cancel it as early as possible. Well, if the US side still wants to continue, I don't know if they are prepared for more losses."
May 5 8 tweets 6 min read
Two of the last governments on earth to stick with zero-Covid policy are separated by only 100 miles of water. As both contend with Omicron outbreaks, the distance between their approaches to the virus is expanding rapidly.
@joyuwang @joyuwang Beijing has repeatedly rejected comparisons between Covid and the flu, highlighting the dangers of the new virus even as cases fall. In Taipei, health minister Chen Shih-chung says he hopes Omicron will eventually morph into a “flulike situation.”
Apr 16 6 tweets 6 min read
Until the Covid lockdowns late last month, Shanghai boasted one of the world’s most robust delivery services. That network, built on sophisticated technology and an army of delivery workers, has collapsed.
@shenlulushen @natashakhanhk @rachelliang5602 @shenlulushen @natashakhanhk @rachelliang5602 As Shanghai's logistics network out of commission, residents have gotten creative. Ying Chengtuo, 29, lent his cat to a neighbor who lives alone for 30 minutes in return for three oranges.
Apr 16 5 tweets 2 min read
Overheard in Shanghai: "People including my parents are increasingly aware that the virus is not as hazardous as it used to be…Most of the people I know believe that the zero-Covid policy will be maintained for a while. They feel sad and hopeless." "Nearly everyone is restricted to homes, which results in a lack of manpower. You cannot rely on just thousands of labourers to handle the delivery of necessities to 25 million residents."
Apr 16 12 tweets 10 min read
Despair is deepening across Shanghai, China’s largest and wealthiest city, weeks into a rigid Covid lockdown that is straining the nerves and livelihoods of its 25 million residents and eroding the public’s trust in authorities.
@yifanxie @natashakhanhk @yifanxie @natashakhanhk The traumas that have played out in recent weeks—food shortages, lack of medical care, overcrowded quarantine centers, infants separated from parents—have embittered a city that has long prided itself as a pragmatic hub at the forefront of China’s boom.
Apr 16 4 tweets 2 min read
The Economist: "It is often said that China’s government plans decades ahead, carefully playing the long game as democracies flip-flop and dither. But in Shanghai right now there is not much sign of strategic genius." "Zero-covid…has become a dead end from which the Communist Party has no quick exit…Alongside a misfiring economy and the war in Ukraine…China’s response to each has a common root: swagger and hubris in public, an obsession with control in private."
Apr 10 5 tweets 3 min read
China's nuclear push long predates Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but U.S. wariness about direct involvement there may have reinforced Beijing’s greater emphasis on nuclear weapons, seeing them as a way to deter the U.S. in a Taiwan conflict.
@AlastairGale @AlastairGale “Ukraine lost its nuclear deterrence in the past and that’s why it got into a situation like this,” said a retired Chinese military officer with ties to the country’s nuclear program.
Apr 9 5 tweets 2 min read
Zhao Lijian: "Traditional Chinese medicine is a gem of the Chinese nation and treasure for people around the world. Since COVID-19 broke out, China has been making contributions to the global fight against the pandemic with TCM." Zhao Lijian: "Since the outbreak of COVID-19, TCM has been deeply and comprehensively involved in the pandemic prevention and control in China. Applying TCM and integrating TCM and Western medicine have delivered notable effects."
Apr 9 10 tweets 11 min read
Mindful of the economic and social toll of broad-based Covid lockdowns, Xi Jinping tried something new in Shanghai, gave the city leeway to target only affected neighborhoods, a potential new model. It didn't work.
@Lingling_Wei @natashakhanhk
@yifanxie @Lingling_Wei @natashakhanhk @yifanxie Instead, Shanghai saw Covid cases surge by nearly five times over the past week. While low by Western standards, Mr. Xi now faces a spiraling outbreak and the return of lockdowns, a twinned dilemma other world leaders hope their nations never see again.
Apr 8 6 tweets 6 min read
A citywide lockdown in Shanghai has badly disrupted food supplies, causing a wave of anxiety as residents ration dwindling stores of vegetables and staples. “I’m not sure if I can last for longer than five more days.”
@yifanxie @caocli @QiLiyan @yifanxie @caocli @QiLiyan Reports of food shortages in the wealthy coastal megacity of 25 million have been met with shock elsewhere in China, where worries about having enough to eat are for most a relic of the past. “Now I understand why my parents’ generation like to stockpile.”
Apr 7 4 tweets 3 min read
Families of patients who died recently at Shanghai’s biggest elderly-care facility are demanding to know whether a Covid outbreak that swept through the center led to their deaths, with some refusing the hospital's request to cremate the bodies.
@xinwenfan @xinwenfan At least 20 patients have died in recent weeks at the Donghai Elderly Care Hospital, according to members of several families, who are still trying to understand why. The facility asked for families’ agreement to cremate the bodies in the hospital morgue.
Apr 6 7 tweets 5 min read
Until Saturday, Dr. Zhu Weiping was a little-known epidemiologist working for Shanghai’s Pudong district. That was when two recordings in which she bluntly criticized the city’s Covid policy went viral, giving voice to widely-held frustrations.
@xinwenfan @xinwenfan Each recorded phone call, between the government scientist and a member of the public, has been shared hundreds of thousands of times, spreading the contention that Beijing’s Covid strategy isn’t working against the Omicron variant in Shanghai.
Apr 6 5 tweets 5 min read
The Covid-19 pandemic forced many people to learn to work from home. In China’s financial center, it is now the opposite challenge: learning to live—round the clock—at the office.
@yuenok @natashakhanhk @caocli @yuenok @natashakhanhk @caocli As China seeks to stamp out new outbreaks quickly with flash lockdowns and sweeping restrictions on movements, some companies in Shanghai have asked workers to stay in their offices for days or weeks at a time.
Apr 5 6 tweets 4 min read
She hasn’t tested positive or experienced any symptoms, but for 34-year-old Shanghai tech worker Lu Jiaying, a hellish, nearly 16-hour bus journey to a Shanghai quarantine facility. “My only wish is to leave this place alive.”… @yifanxie The travails endured by Ms. Lu and two dozen fellow passengers, many elderly, hint at the hardships Shanghai’s 25 million people have faced as local authorities seek to carry out Beijing’s mandate of stamping out Covid infections wherever they appear.
Apr 4 4 tweets 5 min read
Who let the dogs out? Not Shanghai’s Covid cops, whose no-exceptions quarantine has pet owners buying doggy diapers and laying turf and sprinkling dirt in their homes to recreate Fido's favorite patch of marked territory.
@natashakhanhk @QiLiyan @ZhaoReddy Image @natashakhanhk @QiLiyan @ZhaoReddy Kent Kedl, a longtime American resident in Shanghai, dug up dirt from his dogs' favorite pee patch to entice them to do their business at home under lockdown. “You spend all these years training your dog not to do the thing you now really want them to do.” Image
Apr 3 7 tweets 5 min read
China’s apparent retreat from "common prosperity," one of its most important slogans in years, is showing how hard it is to remake the country’s economy and reduce inequality nearly a decade into Xi Jinping’s rule.
@yifanxie @yifanxie Last year, the phrase “common prosperity” seemed to be everywhere. A historic resolution passed during Communist Party meetings in the fall used the phrase eight times. This year, it turned up just once in a 17,000-word government work report.
Apr 3 7 tweets 6 min read
As a video ricocheted around China’s internet, showing crying toddlers crammed in threes and fours on metal-barred beds at a Shanghai facility, one mom was particularly distraught. “I searched for any sight of my daughter.”
@yifanxie @QiLiyan @yifanxie @QiLiyan Ms. Zhu, 39, had been separated from her 2½-year-old daughter after they tested positive for Covid. In the following days, she was left with virtually no news or photos of her daughter, who was sent to a separate facility for Covid-infected children.
Apr 2 6 tweets 4 min read
At least two major elderly-care facilities in Shanghai are battling Covid-19 outbreaks, highlighting the threat posed to the city’s large senior population from a wave of infections with the Omicron variant.
@xinwenfan @xinwenfan Over the past week, Shanghai Tongkang Hospital, with more than 1,000 patients, has been quarantining a group of Covid-infected patients and medical workers in a designated building, according to relatives of some of the patients.
Apr 1 4 tweets 5 min read
Shanghai’s Covid-19 lockdown shuttered many factories in the manufacturing hub. Some of its biggest plants have kept humming by adopting closed-loop systems similar to the one China used to host the Winter Olympics.
@Kubota_Yoko @raffaelehuang @yoyominnie @Kubota_Yoko @raffaelehuang @yoyominnie Municipal authorities have allowed firms to maintain operations in a bubble-like environment, hoping to curb the outbreak while limiting economic damage and supply-chain fallout. Among those still up and running is China’s biggest state-owned automaker.