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China rolls back some of its pandemic control measures

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China has announced it will begin rolling back some of its Covid-19 measures after a string of protests

Chinese officials will reduce the scale of lockdowns to individual apartment floors and buildings, rather than locking down neighbourhoods under a new Covid-19 strategy.

It is part of Beijing’s latest ploy to soften the blow for its 1.412 billion residents, who have been abiding by Covid-zero policies since the start of the pandemic.

Chinese officials will also allow asymptomatic Covid-19 cases to quarantine at home.

The decision follows widespread protests across major Chinese cities.

Is China ready to open up?

More than half of China’s population are planning to travel abroad, according to the U.S. consultancy firm Oliver Wyman.

Analysts have found Chinese tourists will travel abroad for periods ranging from several months to over a year.

However, Chinese people feel somewhat anxious about travelling overseas. The survey, which interviewed 4,000 respondents, found the top concern among prospective travellers was the fear of contracting Covid-19.

They also remain worried about changes to domestic re-entry guidelines.

“People have become cautious,” said Imke Wouters, who is a retail and consumer goods partner at the firm.

“So even when they can travel, we don’t think they will come back right away.”

Over half (51%) of those surveyed are planning to delay their international travel plans altogether. However, tourists are still expected to travel within China and to nearby destinations like Hong Kong.

Over eight in 10 respondents (85%) believe there will be a strong recovery of domestic travel as soon as conditions allow.

What is the Covid-19 situation like in China?

In October, China’s President Xi Jinping secured a record-breaking third term as leader.

Many had hoped this would also mark the beginning of China’s post-COVID era.

China was once the world’s largest outbound tourism market.

However, the Covid-zero strategy has seen nationwide protests over the measures, which have been described as “draconian” by Human Rights Watch.

Consumer confidence also remains a challenge.

Around 83 per cent of executives who responded to the Oliver Wyman survey said there is “a long road to consumer confidence recovery”.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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It takes a village: coordinated financial teams prove paramount to maximising wealth

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The pursuit of wealth is often faced by significant challenges including debt, lifestyle costs, and burnout – so what methods can help overcome these challenges?

Maximising financial opportunities involves a suite of tasks, from leveraging favourable loan rates, strategic tax planning, and coordinated financial advising.

Mark Wyld from MW Wealth joins to discuss more. #featured

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Microsoft recalls ‘Recall AI’ feature over security fears

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Microsoft has announced a postponement in the release of its new Recall AI feature, citing significant security concerns raised during internal testing.

Pope Francis took charge of discussions on the implications of artificial intelligence for global ethics and governance, Reuters reports.

The pope said AI represented an “epochal transformation” for mankind, but stressed the need for close oversight of the ever-developing technology to preserve human life and dignity.

“No machine should ever choose to take the life of a human being,” he said, adding that people should not let superpowerful algorithms decide their destiny.
“We would condemn humanity to a future without hope if we took away people’s ability to make decisions about themselves and their lives, by dooming them to depend on the choices of machines,” he warned.

#featured #trending

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