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Hong Kong's 'zero business' COVID rules sink small operators

City is battling record virus outbreak, hospitals overflowing with patients

HONG KONG -- Jessica Kong has kept her Hong Kong bubble tea shop afloat through two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, but painful restrictions to battle the city's worst outbreak have finally dealt her business a fatal blow.

Sales at Kong's soon-to-be-closed RoyalTea plunged by half, as soaring prices for milk -- a key ingredient in the popular drink -- and some of the world's highest commercial rent prices forced her to concede defeat.

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