China’s economy is already struggling due to the nation’s “Zero-Covid” policy, which continues to impose absolute shutdowns due to small outbreaks of Covid-19.
Today, authorities made the decision to quarantine the MGM Cotai in Macau, one of the main hotels of this gambling center. Unlike Las Vegas, which is booming after the pandemic, Macau has had to struggling to regain a foothold, throwing several of its US-based businesses into a financial pit as travel restrictions limit the number of customers.
“In accordance with the Macao Special Administrative Region Government for Pandemic Prevention and Control, our restaurants, spa, gym, swimming pool and retail stores at MGM Cotai are closed and shuttle service to MGM Cotai is suspended until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience,” the casino said in a statement.
Today’s decision comes as new lockdowns have surfaced in Wuhan, where the Covid virus is believed to have originated. Additionally, schools and restaurants in Guangzhou have been suspended, while Beijing and Shanghai have seen some neighborhoods targeted for closures.
China’s recent party congress saw President Xi Jinping champion the “zero-Covid” policy, dashing the hopes of investors who sought an easing of restrictions that would help the flagging economy.
Instead, China reported its highest number of new Covid-19 cases in two weeks on Thursday.
Japanese bank Nomura puts the number of Chinese under restrictions at around 232 million, up from 225 million last week. Some 31 cities there are in some form of lockdown as of October 27, restricting one in six people in China and covering 24.5% of its gross domestic product, according to Nomura’s analysis.
Artisan Gateway calculates a Chinese box office year-to-date 2022 of $3.90 billion, down 34%.
In contrast, China’s “big three” internet companies – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent – saw their market share increase by more than 20% for streaming platforms iQiyi, Youku and Tencent Video.