Report: Beijing Auto Show Dumped Over COVID Restrictions
The organizer of the Beijing International Automobile Exhibition has announced that the show will not go on due to the COVID-19 situation in the country. Though those with a memory longer than that of a goldfish will recall that the event was already postponed in April for that very same reason.
While we’ve seen plenty of trade shows canceled over the last few years, it’s a little surprising to see China dumping one of the largest international venues it puts on annually – though the show technically alternates between Beijing and Shanghai each year. Having canceled so many times already, the original plan involved postponing the trade event until cases were down. But Beijing is reportedly seeing the highest infection rate it has seen in five months, which was apparently enough for organizers to scrap the rest of the year.
That only equated to China’s capital city seeing 78 new infections on Wednesday. However, the local government has been directed to treat every bump in cases with the utmost seriousness and typically decides to exercise the maximum amount of caution.
As other countries began witnessing lockdown protests, trucker rallies, and generalized civil unrest stemming from how government restrictions negatively impacted the economy, leadership was gradually pressured by the citizenry into backing down. However, the top-down governance style of China didn’t really allow for this. Local leaders were informed that any infections would be viewed as completely unacceptable, leading to sustained factory closures and the forcible isolation of citizens. Protests that emerged were put down early and often, with the consequences for dissent often being quite severe.
While there were also plenty of holdouts in Western governments, the scope and severity of China’s response to the pandemic is truly massive and has managed to persist through 2022. Even China’s top leadership body – the Politburo Standing Committee – recently called for the unwavering support of its stringent zero-COVID policy after last month’s Communist Party congress.
“We must take more resolute and decisive measures to curb the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible and restore normal production and living order as soon as possible,” the Xinhua News Agency quoted Politburo leadership as stating during its meeting. “We must not relax the necessary epidemic prevention initiatives.”
Sadly, this means another year without an auto show.
“Facing severe challenges for the country’s epidemic prevention and control, [we] have decided not to hold the auto show in 2022,” Auto China (the group organizing the event) said in a post on its official WeChat account. “The specific date for the exhibition will be announced separately when available.”
As of now, it’s unclear whether they’ll even bother trying to hold a show in Beijing with Auto Shanghai presumably happening in April of 2023. However, that event’s dates are currently listed as TDB.
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