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Coronavirus: pictures of empty Chinese cities

Here are some photos collected from the web of several Chinese cities completely empty during the Coronavirus outbreak between January and February 2020.

Shenzhen coronavirus

During the weeks following the outbreak of Coronavirus in China, in an attempt to control its spreading, the Chinese government took drastic measures never seen before, including completely isolating entire districts or even cities.

All larger cities have been virtually put in lock-down and people encouraged to stay at home (check out these hilarious banner used to “encourage” people to stay home). If you add to this the fact that a lot of Chinese people were still in their hometowns to celebrate Chinese New Year (and were not allowed back to the cities where they lived), the result is that a lot of cities have been completely emptied for over two weeks. Here are some photos I collected from the web that testify to an unprecedented event in the history of China.

Beijing

With over 20 million inhabitants, Beijing is one of the largest cities in the world. Yet even during the quarantine period, there are very few people around in the capital.

beijing coronavirus
beijing coronavirus
beijing coronavirus
beijing coronavirus
beijing forbidden city

© Alessandro Can

beijing forbidden city

© Alessandro Can

beijing forbidden city

© Alessandro Can

Shanghai

Even the streets and malls of Shanghai are almost completely empty. Shanghai has about 25 million inhabitants.

shanghai coronavirus
shanghai coronavirus

© Anya

shanghai coronavirus

© Anya

shanghai coronavirus

© Anya

shanghai coronavirus

© Anya

shanghai coronavirus

© Anya

Shenzhen – Guangdong

Shenzhen is known as the Silicon Valley of China (I talked about this city here). It is where most of the big Chinese technology companies are based (such as DJI). In Shenzhen, there is also one of China’s three stock markets.

shenzhen coronavirus
shenzhen coronavirus
shenzhen coronavirus
shenzhen coronavirus
shenzhen coronavirus
shenzhen coronavirus

Hangzhou – Zhejiang

Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province in East China and has been one of the cities most affected by the virus, outside of Wuhan. Several neighborhoods have been placed in complete isolation for entire weeks.

hangzhou zhejiang
hangzhou zhejiang coronavirus

© Dejan Ripco

hangzhou zhejiang coronavirus

© Dejan Ripco

hangzhou zhejiang coronavirus

© Dejan Ripco

hangzhou zhejiang coronavirus

© Dejan Ripco

Macao

Returned to China by Portugal in 1999, Macao is called the “Las Vegas of the East” due to the many casinos on the island.

macao

© Rosa Riccio

macao

© Rosa Riccio

Chongqing

Not very famous outside of China, yet it is one of the largest cities in the world. The metropolitan area of Chongqing has over 34 million inhabitants.

Chongqing coronavirus

© Richard Arridge

Chongqing© Richard Arridge

Changchun – Jilin

Changchun is the capital of the province of Jilin and also in this case it is a very large city (not by Chinese standards however) with about 8 million inhabitants.

© Mark Murray

© Mark Murray

© Mark Murray

© Mark Murray

Kunming – Yunnan

Kunming is the capital of Yunnan, a province I have often talk about in this blog. It’s incredible to see a place I know so well, completely empty. The city has about 7 million inhabitants.

kunming coronavirus china

© Céline Hsü

kunming coronavirus china

© Céline Hsü

kunming coronavirus china

© Céline Hsü

kunming coronavirus china

© Céline Hsü

Dali – Yunnan

Dali is one of the most touristy places in Yunnan. It is famous for the old city (which I mentioned here) the ancient capital of the Nanzhao kingdom. It’s a place that is always incredibly crowded all year round and seeing pictures of the old city completely empty is a unique thing.

dali coronavirus

© Toby de Silva.

dali coronavirus

© Toby de Silva.

dali coronavirus

© Toby de Silva.

Lijiang – Yunnan

Lijiang is one of the most visited cities by Chinese tourists. The old town was destroyed by an earthquake and recently rebuilt. I talked about it in this article.

lijiang coronavirus
lijiang coronavirus
lijiang coronavirus

If you have more photos of empty cities in China and want to share them, send me an email and I will add them to this article.

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