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Lockdowns in China, and North Korea, Deal Double Blow to Bridge City


SHENYANG, China — There are plenty of reasons that business has been lousy recently at Steven Wen’s clothing store in Shenyang, the largest city in northeastern China.Local officials locked down the city for one month this spring after detecting just a few dozen coronavirus cases among its nine million people. Residents have guarded their spending closely since the lockdown was lifted. And in a region often referred to as China’s Rust Belt, the local economy had already been shaky for years.Possibly the main problem, though, is that Ms. Wen’s primary customer base has virtually evaporated.“With North Korea closed because of the virus, they can’t come or go at all,” she said from behind the counter of her store in Shenyang’s Koreatown, where signs advertising steep discounts on imported South Korean styles had done little to draw in shoppers. “Before, we’d have maybe dozens of North Korean customers every day. Now you don’ …

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