China Protests Over ‘Zero Covid’ Follow Months of Economic Pain

china protests over zero covid follow months of economic pain

The toll of China’s unwavering approach to fighting Covid has rippled through the world’s second-largest economy for months: Youth unemployment reached a record 20 percent, corporate profits sagged, and economic growth fell well below Beijing’s own projections. The economic pain has intensified the pressure to ease pandemic restrictions to salvage the flagging economy and restore some semblance of normal life. Frustration with the government’s zero-tolerance Covid strategy, which has failed to prevent a big jump in cases, escalated over the weekend as a population tired of unpredictable lockdowns, extended quarantines…

Chinese Unrest Over Lockdowns Upends Global Economic Outlook

chinese unrest over lockdowns upends global economic outlook

The swelling protests against severe pandemic restrictions in China — the world’s second-largest economy — are injecting a new element of uncertainty and instability into the global economy when nations are already struggling to manage the fallout from a war in Ukraine, an energy crisis and painful inflation. For years, China has served as the world’s factory and a vital engine of global growth, and turmoil there cannot help but ripple elsewhere. Analysts warn that more unrest could further slow the production and distribution of integrated circuits, machine parts, household…

Gina Raimondo, a Rising Star in the Biden Administration, Faces a $100 Billion Test

gina raimondo a rising star in the biden administration faces a 100 billion test

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Gina Raimondo, the commerce secretary, was meeting with students at Purdue University in September when she spotted a familiar face. Ms. Raimondo beamed as she greeted the chief executive of SkyWater Technology, a chip company that had announced plans to build a $1.8 billion manufacturing facility next to the Purdue campus. “We’re super excited about the Indiana announcement,” she said. “Call me if you need anything.” These days, Ms. Raimondo, a former Rhode Island governor, is the most important phone call in Washington that many chief…

Oil Prices Slide as Investors Worry Energy Demand Is Slowing

oil prices slide as investors worry energy demand is slowing

HOUSTON — Saudi Arabia is slashing oil exports. U.S. crude oil in storage is dropping. Members of the European Union will soon sharply reduce how much fuel they buy from Russia. Those developments would normally send oil prices sharply higher. Yet oil prices have been sliding. The U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, fell to about $80 a barrel on Friday from more than $90 at the start of the month. The global supply of oil appears to be falling, but many oil traders think that demand is heading down even…

Did Germany Learn From Its Russia Trouble? The Test May Come in China.

did germany learn from its russia trouble the test may come in china

BERLIN — Germany understood the trap of strategic vulnerability that it had laid for itself in relying so heavily on Russian gas only after Moscow invaded Ukraine and turned off the spigot. But whether that lesson has been fully absorbed may be tested elsewhere: China. As Chancellor Olaf Scholz prepares for his first visit to Beijing on Thursday, a planeload of executives in tow, Germany’s intelligence chiefs and allies are warning him against pursuing business as usual with a China that is saber-rattling in the Taiwan Strait. Were tensions to…

Chip Makers, Once in High Demand, Confront Sudden Challenges

chip makers once in high demand confront sudden challenges

A few months ago, makers of computer chips seemed on top of the world. Customers could not get enough of the small slices of silicon, which act as the brains of computers and are needed in just about every device with an on-off switch. Demand was so strong — and U.S. dependence on a foreign manufacturer so worrying — that Democrats and Republicans agreed in July on a $52 billion subsidy package that included grants to build new chip factories in America. U.S. chip makers such as Intel, Micron Technology,…

Biden Just Clobbered China’s Chip Industry

biden just clobbered chinas chip industry

Semiconductors are among the most intricate tools that human beings have ever invented. They are also among the most expensive to make. The latest chips — the sort that power supercomputers and high-end smartphones — are densely packed with transistors so small they’re measured in nanometers. Perhaps the only things more ingenious than the chips themselves are the machines that are used to build them. These devices are capable of working on almost unimaginably tiny scales, a fraction of the size of most viruses. Some of the chip-building machines take…

How Taiwan’s Ambitious Diplomacy Aims to Keep the Island Safe From China

how taiwans ambitious diplomacy aims to keep the island safe from china

TAIPEI, Taiwan — To maintain diplomatic ties with Guatemala, Taiwan pays the country’s lobbyists in Washington. With its allies in the Pacific, Taiwan has promised to help preserve indigenous cultures, and to thank Lithuania, Taiwan’s newest unofficial ally, the government and local shoppers have embraced its imports, from lasers to bacon-flavored schnapps. The fear of being swallowed by China — increasingly adamant in its authoritarian claims over the self-ruled democracy — focuses the diplomatic mind. Few places in the world can claim to be as scrappy with statecraft or as…

China Delays the Release of G.D.P. and Other Economic Data

china delays the release of g d p and other economic data

China, the world’s second-largest economy, announced without explanation on Monday that it was delaying indefinitely the release of economic data that had been scheduled for Tuesday morning, including closely watched numbers for economic growth from July through September, which had been expected to show continued lackluster performance. The delay by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, which analysts said was highly unusual, comes as the country’s ruling elite gather in Beijing for a weeklong, twice-a-decade national congress of the Communist Party. The authorities have taken elaborate measures to prevent any disruptions…

Biden’s Tough Tech Trade Restrictions on China

bidens tough tech trade restrictions on china

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: We’re now engaged in a trade war with China. Actually, you probably haven’t heard this one before. I’m not talking about Donald Trump’s clumsy tariffs aimed at reducing America’s trade deficit. I’m talking instead about the sweeping new controls the Biden administration imposed last Friday on exports of technology to China — controls meant to constrain other advanced countries as well as the United States. Unlike the Trump tariffs, these controls have a clear goal: to prevent or at least delay Beijing’s…