Widening power shortages in China have halted production at numerous factories including many supplying Apple and Tesla, while some stores in the northeast of the communist-controlled country operated by candlelight and malls cut opening hours as the economic toll of the squeeze mounted.
China is in the grip of a power crunch as a shortage of coal supplies, toughening emissions standards and strong demand from manufacturers and industry have pushed coal prices to record highs and triggered widespread curbs on usage.
Rationing has been implemented during peak hours in many parts of northeastern China since last week, and residents of cities including Changchun said cuts were occurring sooner and lasting for longer, state media reported.
The impact on homes and non-industrial users comes as night-time temperatures slip to near-freezing in China’s northernmost cities. The National Energy Administration (NEA) has told coal and natural gas firms to ensure sufficient energy supplies to keep homes warm during winter.
The power squeeze is unnerving Chinese stock markets at a time when the world’s second-largest economy is already showing signs of slowing. China’s economy is grappling with curbs on the property and tech sectors and concerns around the future of cash-strapped real estate giant China Evergrande.
The power pinch has been affecting manufacturers in key industrial hubs on the eastern and southern coasts for weeks. Several key suppliers of Apple (AAPL.O) and Tesla (TSLA.O) halted production at some plants.
MacDailyNews Take: This issue will evaporate the day the COP26 climate talks* end on November 12th because that’s how China rolls.
Ah, the glories of communist authoritarianism, where the proletariate risk freezing to death for their rulers’ empty shows.
*The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland is where world leaders will lay out their climate agendas. Read more: Cop26 climate talks will not fulfil aims of Paris agreement, key players concede – The Guardian, September 27, 2021