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Chinese beef hotpot restaurant chain Baheli, which makes only a third of the revenue it earned before the COVID-19 pandemic, has no intention to resume its expansion, even if authorities bring new infections to zero.

The problem, founder Lin Haiping says, is that consumers would not regain their confidence in a hurry, as China’s stubborn pursuit of its “COVID zero” strategy, against a global trend of living with the virus, has upended their lives.

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