Government Asks Chinese to Hoard Food, Reason Unclear

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The Chinese government has advised residents of the country to stockpile “essential foodstuffs”. Strict corona measures are being reintroduced in China, and hoarding should prevent people from running out of food, as happened before during strict lockdowns in the country.


That writes the British business newspaper Financial Times and news agency Bloomberg on Tuesday. The government says it wants to prevent people from running out of food with the advice but did not specifically refer to possible upcoming lockdowns.

When China announced the first lockdowns in early 2020, many residents had little to no time to prepare for the measures. Moreover, many Chinese were then without rice and other basic necessities and social media reports of people dying of starvation.

New outbreaks of the coronavirus were identified this week in Beijing and Shanghai, among others. As a result, 54 new infections were counted in the capital, and lockdowns were immediately announced for various residential areas. In Shanghai, 31 people were found to be infected with the coronavirus and Disneyland, among others, was closed.

Chinese are speculating online about the Commerce Ministry’s advice to hoard and suspect that it has not so much to do with the new corona measures, but that a harsh winter may be on the way or a conflict with Taiwan.

It is not uncommon in China for shortages of some foodstuffs during strict shopping. In addition, a cold wave is forecast in large parts of the country for next week.

Prices for vegetables have already risen sharply in China in recent weeks. Heavy rainfall and flooding in regions where a lot of vegetables are grown have made vegetables more expensive than meat in some places.

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