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China factory owners feel pain of stumbling post-COVID recovery

Spending rises but weak exports cloud outlook for world's No. 2 economy

An e-cigarette factory in Shenzhen. Companies in the southern manufacturing hub have been hit by slowing demand for Chinese goods.   © Getty Images

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG -- China's move to drop years of punishing COVID-19 curbs is boosting bets for a strong rebound in the world's No. 2 economy, but factory owner Herbert Lun doesn't have much to cheer about.

Lun's company in Shenzhen has seen key European orders for its hair curlers and other electric beauty products tumble as overseas demand for Chinese products sputters.

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