Sources in China indicate that Suzhou—a base camp of Taiwanese companies in the mainland—will suspend electricity supply from the noon of September 26 to October 1 following the country’s policy “Dual Control System of Total Energy Consumption and Intensity” (hereinafter “the dual control policy”), which has affected local enterprises and their counterparts from Taiwan.
Sources say that at nine in the evening of September 25, the government of Suzhou issued an emergency order requesting businesses across the greater Suzhou region to halt production before 8 pm of September 26 until 12 am by the end of the month. During the morning of September 26, the city’s government updated the order, demanding all the companies to halt production starting from 12 pm of September 26 to late at night of September 30. The companies cannot resume production until October 1. The electricity restriction is expected to affect local enterprises as well as Taiwanese and foreign businesses in Suzhou.
As Reuters reported, the National Development and Reform Commission of China said it will endeavor to solve the recent power limit and raw material price problems. To achieve net zero by 2060, Chinese authorities have limited electricity generation, while businesses in Jiangsu and Yunnan revealed that their current production plans have been affected by the recent power curbs.
As China begins implementing the dual control policy, according to The Central News Agency, the country’s electricity restrictions have affected dozens of provinces including Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Guangdong. The power crunch has gradually spread from the heavy industry to light and solar energy industries. Chinese media revealed that power rationing on businesses has affected various supply chains, causing costs of raw materials (e.g., steel, concrete, aluminum and white phosphorus) to skyrocket, some of which even hit a record high.
On Sina Weibo—China’s Twitter equivalent—people posted pictures of skyscrapers lit up with the message “Welcome home Meng Wanzhou” as the Huawei CFO arrived in Shenzhen on a flight after being released by Canada. In comparison, China’s power curbs have largely disrupted business operations and everyday life, where citizens complain about issues like not being able to take the elevator back at home.
A message on Weibo mentioned that power cuts are not limited to Northeast China; in the next 10 days, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui will be subjected to power blackouts, forcing large and small factories to stop operating. The user posting the message said that he is happy about Meng’s return but is more concerned about folks whose lives are affected by power rationing and cuts. “Once a factory stops operating, how can workers get paid? If business owners can no longer run their business, countless employees in the upstream and downstream may be affected, thus causing more family crises.”
“Indeed, any reform and progress comes with necessary suffering, which may inevitably affect some individuals,” the author said. “However, how to humanely minimize the pains matters, such as ensuring electricity supply in everyday life for the public. After all, the northeastern region will soon become freezing. Without power supply, numerous lives will be affected, especially those of elders. On one side, the welcoming message occupies high-rise buildings with lights flashing brightly. On the other side stands factory shutdowns, people who lost their jobs, and those who struggle to live without electricity. The gap between the two is somewhat too large.”
(Source of first image: shutterstock)