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David Fong made his way from a poor village in central China to the southern boomtown of Shenzhen as a young man in 1997. Over the next 25 years he worked for a succession of overseas manufacturers before building his own multi-million dollar business making everything from schoolbags to toothbrushes.

Now 47, he has plans to branch out internationally by building internet-connected consumer devices. But after two years of coronavirus lockdowns that have pushed up the price of shipping and battered consumers’ confidence, he worries if his business will survive at all.

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