Empty Beijing streets as COVID cases hit record

STORY: The streets of Beijing were deserted on Friday (November 25), as China reported another record high of daily COVID-19 infections.

There were more than 32,000 new local cases on Thursday (November 24) - beating the record set just the previous day.

Authorities in the Chinese capital have locked down neighborhoods and shut shops and businesses.

Similar curbs have been placed on other cities across China, quashing investors' hopes that the country would soon ease its rigid zero-COVID policy.

The French Chamber of Commerce in China called for authorities to properly implement the COVID "optimisation" measures it announced two weeks ago.

It says the proposed measures, which include shortened quarantines and more targeted steps, had raised hopes for more bilateral trade and economic exchange.

Some local residents are becoming increasingly frustrated as well.

“We just hope it will get better, otherwise don't talk about people's lives. People cannot even make a living now. It is not working anymore. Well, this really involves the interests of everyone. If this goes on there may be a problem with access to food, and that is going to be serious.”

Elsewhere in China - at the world's largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, more than 20,000 new hires have left after COVID-induced worker unrest this week.

The departures are set to complicate the company's previous target to resume full production by the end of November, fueling concerns over Apple's ability to deliver products for the busy holiday period.