Vietnam has seen a tremendous increase in its exports following Xi Jinping’s Zero-COVID policy imposing lockdowns in Shenzhen and Shanghai this spring.
According to Vietnam’s General Statistics Office (GSO), the country’s exports reached a record high of $34.7 billion in March. In comparison, Shenzhen’s exports were only $17.8 billion, down 14 percent from last year, according to the Shenzhen Bureau of Statistics.
In terms of total first quarter 2022 exports, Vietnam’s GSO also reported a record high $88.58 billion, which is about 46 percent higher than Shenzhen’s total first quarter exports.
Notably, electronic products, such as cell phones, computers, and components, have become Vietnam’s biggest category of exported goods at $28.1 billion, accounting for 32 percent of Vietnam’s total exports in the first quarter.
Shenzhen is one of China’s most important technological innovation and manufacturing centers and has consistently ranked third in fiscal revenue among all Chinese cities. It also contributed 2.6 percent to China’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, according to a March 24 press release by the Shenzhen municipal government.
In 2018, following the U.S.-China trade war, Vietnam surpassed Shenzhen in exports for the first time in 30 years, and the difference between the two has been increasing ever since.
Tech giants such as Samsung Electronics, LG Corp., Intel, and Apple began investing in alternative manufacturing sites in countries like Vietnam and India and slowly moving their production lines out of China.
As a result, exports of products in several major categories have dropped significantly in China.
In the first four months of 2022, exports of cell phones, appliances, fertilizer, and steel dropped 14.2 percent, 6.8 percent, 35.8 percent, and 29.2 percent, respectively, according to statistics from China Customs.
The extreme Zero-COVID policy and subsequent lockdowns have further worsened the economic situation. Shenzhen’s fiscal revenue for April dropped 44 percent compared with the same month last year, according to the Shenzhen Finance Bureau.