China Urges Stocking Up Ahead of Winter, Prompting Worries Online

A statement from China’s government urging local authorities to ensure there was adequate food supply during the winter and encouraging people to stock up on some essentials prompted concerned talk online, with people linking it with the widening coronavirus outbreak, a forecast cold snap, or even rising tensions with Taiwan. 

The Ministry of Commerce urged local authorities to stabilize prices and ensure supplies of daily necessities including vegetables this winter and next spring, according to a statement Monday evening. Chinese households were also encouraged to stock up on a certain amount of daily necessities in preparation for the winter months or emergencies.

The notice was similar to one released in September before the week of holidays at the start of October, which told local governments to ensure food supplies and stable prices during the break. Even so, this new appeal sparked speculation that it’s linked to a widening coronavirus outbreak which has prompted a new round of lockdowns and travel restrictions after it spread to over half the mainland’s provinces.