A person familiar with the matter told CNN Business that traders and fund managers were being offered between 500 and 2,000 yuan ($78 to $314) per night to camp out at work, with some companies placing folding beds under workers’ desks. Other firms have also provided staff with sleeping bags, food and toiletries to get by.
Another firm, Foresight Fund, also said some of its staffers had been staying at the office since March 16.
Officials kicked off a staggered lockdown on Monday, with about 11 million people in the eastern half of the city — which includes Pudong — told to stay indoors for four days. The western half, which houses about 14 million residents, will start restrictions on Friday.
During the pandemic, workers in China have become familiar with the concept of living in the office.
Earlier this month, Chinese state-run news outlet china.com.cn posted a video diary showing workers spending several nights in an office in Shanghai. While the video did not identify the company, it said that 75 workers were living in 3,230 square feet of space.
Showers were “a problem,” one worker said in the video, adding that the team initially had to boil hot water to wash up before the shower facility was eventually installed.
“It feels like going back to the dorms at university.”
When it came time to sleep, they faced other problems. The employee in the video complained that the marble floor was hard and uncomfortable, even with sleeping bags.
“The first couple of days, we felt panic. We couldn’t sleep until 2 to 3 am,” she said.
Some colleagues also snored, so “we decided to send them to a meeting room,” she added. “So they sleep together in that room.”
The video did not specify why the workers were in lockdown prior to the citywide restrictions.
Despite the latest clampdown, businesses in Shanghai are not deterred.
This week, the Shanghai Stock Exchange said it would offer online services for companies to continue to hold listing ceremonies, roadshows and shareholder meetings. It will also relax some requirements for the submission of documents.
The priority is to keep the “business running,” Zhong Ou Asset Management said in its post Monday.
CNN’s Simone McCarthy contributed to this report.