Satire: China’s Covid cogwheel

As Covid restrictions is gradually being scrapped in practically all of the surrounding world, China is doubling down on its “Zero Covid” policy which is now branded as “dynamic” and based on mass testing on an industrial scale.

This new sector of China’s economy is depicted in this Monday’s cartoon by Niklas “@KluddNiklas” Eriksson here on Kinamedia.

Indeed, analysts at Chinese Soochow Securities predicts that 11 billion Covid tests will be carried out April-June this year, at a cost of some US$26 billion which is the size of Iceland’s or Cambodia’s entire economy.

According to the researchers this will work as a kind of “stimulus” for the Chinese economy, even helping to offset the impact of shrinking household consumption by increasing the country’s GDP with 0.62 percent.

But of course, spending such large amounts on testing is hardly only positive for the economy. As the investment bank Nomura recently noted, Covid testing will consume some 8.4 percent of China’s total fiscal spending in 2022 which equals 1.8 percent of China’s GDP.

Nomura also notes how this spending could “crowd out” other government expenditure in infrastructure and that there will also be costs related to the time that people will have to set aside for taking the tests.

Whatever the exact figures, Covid is now a cogwheel in the Chinese economy while the rest of the world is moving in the opposite direction.

This week’s cartoon can be viewed in full size via this link.

A full collection of Kludd-Niklas’ works for Kinamedia can be seen here.