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Mobility constraints pose business challenges that could be long lasting. China’s COVID-19 response has seen the imposition of vast local controls on mobility, essentially immobilizing hundreds of millions of people with a combination of digital tracking technology and historic methods of physical mobility control. The crisis response to basically stop commerce and mobility down to the neighborhood level effectively thrust power back into the hands of the locales and reignited the entropic forces for local autonomy. There is high plausibility that the China operating environment, post COVID-19 crisis, will see intracity mobility become more controlled and city economies become more autonomous, possibly for a prolonged period. This is likely to produce a quagmire of differing local regulations regarding business restart, business conduct, transportation, and mobility that will require renewed attention to local government relationships.
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