Chinese pray for health in Lunar New Year as COVID death toll rises

BEIJING, Jan 22 (Reuters) – China entered the Lunar New Year on Sunday with its people praying for health after three years of stress and financial hardship under the pandemic, as officials reported almost 13,000 new deaths caused by the virus between January 13 and 19. Queues stretched for about one kilometer (a half-mile) outside … Read more

China plays down COVID outbreak with holiday rush at full tilt

Top official says COVID at ‘relatively low’ level Hospital, critical cases dropping, authorities say More than 2 billion trips expected over Lunar New Year Some fear travel season could see infections surge BEIJING, Jan 20 (Reuters) – People across China crowded into trains and buses for one of its busiest days of travel in years … Read more

China’s video game makers come in from the cold as crackdown eases

HONG KONG, Jan 20 (Reuters) – China’s end to a sweeping crackdown on its video games market is expected to breathe life back into the battered industry this year, but remaining restrictions on some content and economic headwinds will limit the extent of the recovery. Beijing’s tough curbs in 2021 laid waste to the once-booming … Read more

In China, doctors say they are discouraged from citing COVID on death certificates

BEIJING, Jan 17 (Reuters) – During a busy shift at the height of Beijing’s COVID wave, a physician at a private hospital saw a printed notice in the emergency department: doctors should “try not to” write COVID-induced respiratory failure on death certificates. Instead, if the deceased had an underlying disease, that should be named as … Read more

China’s first population drop in six decades sounds alarm on demographic crisis

BEIJING/HONG KONG, Jan 17 (Reuters) – China’s population fell last year for the first time in six decades, a historic turn that is expected to mark the start of a long period of decline in its citizen numbers with profound implications for its economy and the world. The country’s National Bureau of Statistics reported a … Read more

China’s 2022 economic growth one of the worst on record, post-pandemic policy faces test

China Q4 GDP growth slows; 2022 growth one of the worst on record 2022 GDP grows 3.0%, far below official target Dec factory output, retail sales weak but beat expectations Population shrinks for the first time since 1961 Policymakers vow to step up support for the economy in 2023 BEIJING, Jan 17 (Reuters) – China’s … Read more

Chinese city dwellers head to hometowns as holidays raise COVID stakes

Lunar New Year holidays officially start Jan. 21 More than 2 billion trips due in holiday season China axed anti-virus controls last month Thousands of COVID patients have died in the latest outbreak BEIJING, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Passengers laden with luggage flocked to rail stations in China’s megacities on Monday, heading to their hometowns … Read more

Shares rise, yen climbs as BOJ battles bond bears

BOJ under intense pressure as it defends yield policy Yen hits 7-month high, yuan climbs as dollar eases More earnings ahead, many central bank speakers Britain’s FTSE flirts with record highs SYDNEY/LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Shares firmed on Monday as optimism over corporate earnings and China’s reopening offset concerns the Bank of Japan (BOJ) … Read more

China set for historic demographic turn, accelerated by COVID traumas

HONG KONG, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Living under China’s stringent COVID-19 restrictions for the past three years had caused Zhang Qi enough stress and uncertainty to consider not having babies in the country. When China abruptly dismantled its “zero COVID” regime last month to let the virus spread freely, the balance tilted to a definite … Read more

China COVID peak to last 2-3 months, hit rural areas next – expert

Peak of COVID wave seen lasting 2-3 months – epidemiologist Elderly in rural areas particularly at risk People mobility indicators tick up, but yet to fully recover BEIJING, Jan 13 (Reuters) – The peak of China’s COVID-19 wave is expected to last two to three months, and will soon swell over the vast countryside where … Read more