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Inside Shanghai’s COVID Lockdown, Residents Resort to a Barter Economy

Shanghai, the financial center of China, is a city with a population of 25 million. Under the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown, people have found it hard to buy groceries. The barter economy is becoming the solution to the current food crisis in Shanghai.

Beef patties can be exchanged for rice, flour and oil. The price for half a bottle of rum is four egg tarts; green peppers, onions, ginger and garlic are the new currency because they won’t appear in the vegetable packets occasionally distributed by community officials. Coca-Cola is at the top of the  chain of food exchanges as it can be exchanged for anything.

The people in Shanghai  have conducted their sales through social media such as WeChat groups. Some have posted such comments as, “Who would have thought that the young people in Shanghai would have to barter to make a living.” “In 2022, thanks to the high level of governance by the municipal government, Shanghai as a financial center has degenerated into a barter economy.”

One Shanghai netizen offered to lend a cat for three oranges. The netizen said, “It’s a little hard to be alone at home, it’s much better to have a pet.”

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), April 12, 2022