The Big Picture, by Graham Burgess

China Zero COVID Policy – Complications

It would appear that the LED industry has a significant problem about to hit us!

Shenzhen is to go into lock down with subways, buses and public transport generally shutting down, shops are empty and closing/closed, restaurants are closing and all Shenzhen residents instructed to stay at home, the initial expectation is that this will be for 2 weeks.

Local news channels report that 17 million people in Shenzhen are subject to a “stay at home” order from the local Shenzhen government and I believe that we can expect to hear that all Shenzhen (maybe even Guangdong) factories will be closed, with immediate effect, for the foreseeable future.

By foreseeable I think we mean unknown!

The purpose of this post is to warn customers of impending delays on any projects currently in production, we can assume anything that hasn’t left China already is unlikely to do so before the end of the month, at the earliest.

Customers intending to place orders should know that digiLED will change our usual policy of “non-refundable deposits”. For the time being we will accept orders and deposits with a promise of a full refund in the event of cancellation.

We will notify customers at the point we plan to begin production to re-confirm their orders. digiLED will confirm in writing that production is to begin and, after a notice period of 7 days, if the order is not cancelled the deposit will be considered non-refundable. This will allow us to supply customers fairly on a “first come first served” basis.

Many of you will be wondering why this is happening, I am not a COVID expert but from my understanding the problem is as follows:

The China vaccines are not based on mRNA protocols in the way that the leading western vaccines (Astra-Zeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson etc) are and so they do not provide the same level of protection against newer variants, including Omicron.

Omicron has been identified in (by Western standards) a small number of people (reports range from 66 to 80) in Shenzhen, who still operates a Zero COVID policy, procedures are to shut down and perform massive daily testing until they are satisfied the virus has been eliminated.

Press in Asia reports that Chinese pharmaceutical companies are developing mRNA based vaccines but the first production facility is not due to be completed, in Shanghai, until September.

NB. The information relating to COVID and vaccines is gleaned from press reports and should be verified independently.